Growing up in the Bay Area- a place so rich with diversity, I sometimes take it for granted and often forget that racism is so acute in so many placesGrowing up in the Bay Area- a place so rich with diversity, I sometimes take it for granted and often forget that racism is so acute in so many places. I know this is purposefully naive, especially given the current tensions that have been surfacing all across this nation- even in the Bay Area (notice I say surfacing- I definitely know it's not new, nor is it uncommon, sadly) in the past several years. As the only biracial family in their community, the Lee Family is faced with so many traumas- the taunting, the bullying, the alienation, the isolation and the plain loneliness- their experiences break my heart. And poor Hannah! This book is just sad beyond words. I'm glad to have read it though, lest the privilege of living in such a special place prevents me from recognizing that the Lee's reality- like so many others- is not a work of fiction, but painful truth....more
Whenever one reads Haruki Murakami's work, one can expect the unexpected. I have heard Murakami likened to a Japanese version of David Lynch and I'd hWhenever one reads Haruki Murakami's work, one can expect the unexpected. I have heard Murakami likened to a Japanese version of David Lynch and I'd have to say I think that that comparison is pretty good. His world's have an otherworldly feeling that is really like no other author that I read. The way "magic" (for lack of a better word) envelopes his characters always takes them by surprise, while at the same time, seems totally plausible. In Murakami's world, strange things can happen and do.
In terms of this particular novel, Murakami's latest, I was totally invested in Tsukuru's story. I, too, had to find out why his tight-knit group of friends suddenly abandoned him. Though the book started out slow (I had to make myself pick it up), it eventually picked up and then I couldn't put it down. I liked what unfolded and how. The stories behind what happened to this group and to Tsukuru, were essentially satisfying.
Unfortunately, there were other elements of the book that frustrated me. The otherworldly elements were never explained, or even justified. They were just there, but not in a good way (if that even makes sense). I also did not like the ending. There were just some things that needed resolution and I plain just never got it. I did not like that aspect of the book at all. 3...more
Wow... I haven't been here in so long. I finished this ages ago. A beautiful and enigmatic book. Compelling. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle became a favorWow... I haven't been here in so long. I finished this ages ago. A beautiful and enigmatic book. Compelling. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle became a favorite on finishing. The ironic thing about this is that I am currently reading another book with a Japanese(-American, I think- more research needed), that deals with haunting coincidences and time. And here, all this time later, I get on Goodreads and I am reading a book with similar themes and similar spare, beautiful language. It's actually pretty spooky. Really spooky. ...more