Amanda Tamane's Reviews > Kafka on the Shore

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
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's review
Jan 02, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: japanese, literature, read-in-2012
Read from January 02 to February 11, 2012

I'm officially in love with Haruki Murakami. I'll admit that his subject matter makes me just a tad uncomfortable at times (sexual relationships between teenagers and adults seem to pop up in every novel of his that I've read so far), but the way that he handles taboo subjects strike me as part of his charm. Murakami writes with a beautiful understanding of the human condition -- whether he takes a voice that is male, female, young, old, or anywhere in between, I find that I empathise with these characters, because they are so fully realised.

Kafka on the Shore is a nuanced and layered novel, which delicately winds its way around the relationships between its varied characters. It follows two major characters: Kafka Tamura, a 15-year-old runaway, and Nakata, an elderly man with unusual abilities. In traditional Murakami style, their parallel paths overlap in details, without requiring the narrators to interact directly. The structure and language of the novel consistently demonstrates that Murakami has absolute control over his story, and he is keenly aware of the implications of his style. One of the aspects that I most enjoyed was his use of second person narrative at key points in the story -- it was very striking to suddenly read the text as if I were the character.

Murakami is a true modern master of storytelling, and I can see myself reading this particular novel again and again in the future. I think he may be quickly rising in the ranks of my favourite authors; I can't wait to read more of his work!

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Reading Progress

01/13/2012 page 127

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