Dave's Reviews > The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
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Sep 18, 07

Read in September, 2007

So before long, you find yourself 340 pages into this book, and you have no idea what's happening.. Rather, you understand all you have read to this point, but still can't determine the direction Murakami is taking you in.

Still, the book is compelling. You can't seem to put it down. Meanwhile it begins to invade your dreams.. in much the same manner that Toru's (the main character) dreams are invaded. You start having dreams about strange women and empty wells.

So cracking into "Book Three", I'm still uncertain of what will happen next, or if there is even a point to this work. Having reviews that state "dream-like" and "surreal", I wonder if anything will come of it. I know what I would like to happen, but Murakami tends to avoid my expectations.

So I'll read on.. and maybe in a day or two, I'll have closure.

9/18 Update:

No closure.
Expectations avoided, though I was working on satisfying conclusions all throughout Book 3, just not of the kind Murakami Intended.

And after reading multiple goodreader reviews, I have a sense that no one is getting it or writing it off as merely strange and surreal. Don't believe for a second that Ido "get it", but by saying Murakami leaves a lot of "loose ends" is a cop out to me, and I think with critical care and attention, a lot of these can be tied up..

But what do I know? It's not my place to tie up loose ends.

Something stewing in me right now, and I put the finished book down only moments ago, is that I can't believe for a second that May is a wigmaker. I think maybe she's crazy, maybe in a mental facility which she believes is a wig making factory, and.. and... may be Kumiko.

Still stewing inside, yet, is a hypothesis that all of, or most of, the women in this book are variations of Kumiko. That the "real" Kumiko never really left Toru, etc., etc.

But this is what a book like this can do to a person. Invite your own interpretation, as I suspect may be what Murakami intended.

Also, I'm likening this to a song that you really love to hear, but probably don't know what it's about... and once you catch the meaning, it doesn't belong to you anymore. Further losing that specialness because the artist spilled the beans, as it were. And for that I'll take the book as it came to me and left me.

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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Dave Sure, I would say the book left me feeling the same as well. What's confusing is why it makes you feel that way? Given how scattered it is (in it's way), it's hard to see emotion in a cause and effect sort of way.

May, to me, was Toru's connection to anything resembling "real", though towards the end, you sort of see that May isn't normal (or rather, happy), really, but still somewhat "real" in more of a sense than what the other characters had to offer.

I'm going to go back to this after I read something else from Murakami. I may have gone too far in before I knew what he was about.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

POW subplot: Awesome.

The extended "In the Well" sequence: Not so much.


Megan Dave - thanks for articulating the loss you feel when you realize a song (or book, or picture, etc) no longer carries the meaning you have so long assumed and identified with and been comforted by....I've stopped seeking out such specific answers on creator's meaning and intent for just that reason. Some things are just mine. Damn it.


Nickie Sene I love your ideas about May/Kumiko. I got so excited when I read your review, what an interesting and totally plausible connection to have made.


Elida Karaivanova Thanks for your review, I never thought of Maya that way. I just finished the book a couple of moments ago and I still can feel my heart beating faster. For sure there is a lot more to be revealed inside my mind in the future days.


Rachel I took a nap just after finishing the book and totally dreamed I was in the labyrinthine hotel, looking for something. (what?)


Kate Thank you. An excellent review and perhaps I need to reconsider my three stars - it was a slow unresolved atmospheric book. The feeling of it is still lingering.


Erin Good theories. For instance, is it a coincidence that we have all this description of how Kumiko treats her clothes, she only takes her perfect, just cleaned clothing with her when she leaves, etc.. and then Nutmeg is a clothing designer? Kumiko has an abortion and Cinnamon has no father and never talks... Seems that Toru is grasping for something in his alternate realities.


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