Erik's Reviews > Kafka on the Shore

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
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Dec 17, 10

bookshelves: literary
Read in November, 2006

This was the first Murakami book I tackled. The results? Instantaneous fandom... A bewitching story about a teenage runaway named Kafka Tumura, and his alter ego, "The Boy named Crow." Kafka seeks a life of solitude faraway from the reaches of everything he has ever known, (particularly his father). Everything the boy stumbles upon reaches out to me: The comfort and peace of a small town library, the friendship of Oshima, (a transexual, fast-driving, classical music freak), sexy encounters with an older woman, Miss Saeki, whose own life is shrouded in mystery, to strange pop culture characters like Johnny Walker and Colonel Sanders, both of whom come to life and serve as mediums of a sort. Kafka finds himself taking a surreal journey through the realms of the metaphysical, one that borders on an existentialist void where the lines between good and evil, and dreams and reality, are significantly blurred. I found the novel's other protagonist, Nakata, an old simpleton who can communicate with cats and ease people of their spiritual suffering, equally intriguing. "Kafka on the Shore" is probably the most challenging Murakami offering I have read to date. I wouldn't say this is the ideal Murakami book to start with, but it is definitely a selection that all of his fans should not miss.
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