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Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami - Bogormen
So many books, so little time.
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Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami
Title: Kafka on the Shore
Author: Haruki Murakami
Genre: Cultural
Rating: 2.5/5
# pages: 459
Date read: November, 2009

Kafka On The Shore follows the solitary, self-disciplined schoolboy Kafka Tamura as he hops a bus from Tokyo to the randomly chosen town of Takamatsu, reminding himself at each step that he has to be "the world's toughest fifteen-year-old." He finds a secluded private library in which to spend his days--continuing his impressive self-education--and is befriended by a clerk and the mysteriously remote head librarian, Miss Saeki, whom he fantasizes may be his long-lost mother.

Meanwhile, in a second, wilder narrative spiral, an elderly Tokyo man named Nakata veers from his calm routine by murdering a stranger. An unforgettable character, beautifully delineated by Murakami, Nakata can speak with cats but cannot read or write, nor explain the forces drawing him toward Takamatsu and the other characters.

I'm not entirely sure it deserves such a low rating, because I think my problems with it more than anything stem from the fact that I didn't understand it. At least I hope that's the case, and that the symbolisms just went waaaay over my head, because the alternative is that this is a very, very, very strange book. We're talking Ib Michael strange!

Despite its strangeness, I have to admit it was really well written though. There's not much plot in it, but the characters drew me in completely, and I kept reading because I was interested in seeing what happened to them, more than for any other reason. Not that we were ever fully told though - there were a LOT of empty threads left hanging and questions left unanswered... although I'm not sure they were every intended to be explained.

So I'm in the odd situation that I simultaneously liked and disliked the book - and both would and would not recommend it.

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