Kafka on the Shore by

trans from the Japanese: Philip Gabriel
ISBN: 0099494094
; Mental mayhem ; Mindspill

“So you’re all set for money, then?” the boy named Crow asks in his characteristic sluggish voice. The kind of voice you have when you’ve just woken up and your mouth still fells heavy and dull. But he’s just pretending. He’s totally awake. As always.

Kafka on the shore - Haruki Murakami

There are two main narrators to this book, one a 15 year old runaway who has taken on the name Kafka, and the other an old man, Nakata, who never recovered from some strange childhood accident, but can talk with cats. I have to say that while both storylines were gripping and intriguing, I never knew what was going on. Or had an idea what would happen next. By the end of the novel I was as in the dark as at the beginning.

I still enjoyed it though.

It isn’t a fast paced book, the characters weren’t particularly gripping, but there is more than enough to keep you entertained and wanting to read on, even if you are scratching your head and wondering about fish falling from the sky, or if Kafka fulfilled his father’s dark prophecy. There is death, and sex, myths, and cats, libraries, and truckers. Of course there is also a lot of unanswered questions at the end, and many, many loose ends. But in a way that doesn’t matter, the open-ended nature of this book isn’t something that bothered me in the slightest.

I’m sure I missed half of what was going on here, what with references to Oedipus and Japanese legends, aliens and creating a magic flute from the souls of murdered cats… But what the hell, it was a wierd and enjoyable book, one that I may have to read again to try and understand a little more.

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2 Responses

  1. Sheri says:

    This was a strange book! But, I liked reading it as well.

  2. Fence says:

    It was Sheri, strange in a good way.