Book Review: Haruki Murakami’s Kafka On The Shore
This will be a quick review as I barely have time to write today.
Anyway, as with most of Murakami novels, this one plays with both reality and the metaphysical. It’s funny how this book was slow to begin with but upon reading further, I realized it must’ve been exactly how Murakami wanted the novel to be read. I’m not talking about slow-paced books like Umberto Eco’s The Name Of The Rose (I’ve read it but never really got around to reviewing it) or at least his 1Q84.
At first I thought I would hate this book but I found out it’s the kind of book that grows on you. The more I read it, the more I didn’t mind the small yet lengthy details as they were there for a purpose. What I liked about this book is how it made weird things seem normal. Falling leeches, talking to cats, MURDERING cats, raining fish, you begin to want to accept that perhaps this could happen given the right circumstances. Murakami also incorporates the sex as if it was ritualistic rather than a simple activity for pleasure.
I love the characters in the book but I’ve grown fond of Nakata and Hoshino’s storyline the most. I always looked forward to reading their parts and sometimes I’d read Kafka’s chapters real fast so I could get to Nakata’s before I call it a day.
As for the real meaning of the novel, I haven’t exactly connected with what the book wants to say but I get the feeling it’s about finding your life’s purpose and understanding why you exist. I’m sure some other readers who did their homework can provide more details but I like my own approach.
One more thing I loved about the book is how it was quite an inspiring read. It had a lot of life quotes but among them, two caught my eye:
“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.” and “If you remember me, then I don’t care if everyone else forgets.”
These lines are both from the same character that played a major part for both stories. Not too cheesy but not to be taken too deep either. Real, plain, and definitely simple, these two quotes give the reader something to think about and that’s one of Murakami’s signatures. It’s also sad when my favorite characters were killed SPOILER: (yes, and that included Nakata) but death plays quite an important role in this book and I’m just happy how their ends were met in a way that the reader won’t feel too sad about (but you’ll still feel something).
I wish I can write more but my rating should suffice for now:
It’s not a long novel as much as it’s a novel that you must take your time reading. You won’t appreciate this book if you quick read it. It’s not Norwegian Wood but it’s still good. I’ll definitely read more of Murakami’s books because of this.