Micah McCarty's Reviews > The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
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's review
Jan 17, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: esquire-s-80-books-every-man-should
Read from January 17 to February 20, 2012

Wow, this was my first Murukami book but it will not be my last. I was a little apprehensive about tackling such an epic work but I am glad I finally did it. I have been thinking about this book for several days since I finished it. I think I loved it. I say "think" because I know I didn't fully understand what the author is doing with the story. The main character, Toru Okada, goes through quite a transformation through the book. He begins as a simple, unfeeling man whose life gets turned upside down. His wife leaves. He begins meeting a unique cast of characters who each in their own way lead him through his transformation into a fully developed person. Each of the characters in the story have dealt directly with evil or "defilement". This was the most interesting theme of the book. Each person plays the role either of defiler or of the defiled. Toru's character develops a mark on his face that somehow enables him to absorb or heal this defilement or pain.

This is such an oversimplification of this huge novel. There are many characters who are so fascinating and the story bounces around through WWII Japan, modern Japanese politics, dreams, wells, etc. I read this on audiobook which I highly recommend because my one major complaint of the book would be that I think all of the characters would easily blend together if I didn't have the narrator performing different voices for each character. Some of the voices were annoying, even abrasive, particularly May Kasahara.

I highly recommend this book. In fact I hope someone in my circle of friends will read it or will have already read it so we can talk about it. This is one of those books that cries out for discussion.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Scott (new)

Scott I'm in the midst of 1Q84 at the moment.

Micah McCarty I remember seeing that you were reading that. Let me know what you think. I heard that Murukami must like cats because they are a character in both of those books.

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