Customer Reviews for

Kafka on the Shore

Average Rating 4.5
( 172 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 45 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted April 18, 2010

    Walking a Tight Rope Between Real and Unreal

    Escaping the bounds of reality seems so simple in this amazing book by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, one of today's most original and mind-bending writers. The translation from Japanese to English is absolutely stunning as the language is both vivid and detailed. Following the story of a 15-year old boy as he finds his way through the mysteries of life, Murakami crafts a story that jolts the reader from concrete feelings to far-fetched imagery. Let go of what you expect and know of the world and allow yourself to venture into this meandering tale full of surprising twists and turns. Murakami's greatest feat is his ability to make what is surely impossible seem so real and lifelike - from a man who can talk to cats, to strange characters who resemble familiar characters from modern day product marketing like Johnny Walker and Colonel Sanders. The tale is told in such a way as to suggest a dreamlike state where life isn't what you expect, and is much more vivid than we normally allow.

    Not a love story, exactly. Not a coming of age parable, either. Not a thriller or mystery. And yet, it weaves together elements of all of these into one masterful piece of writing that will keep you glued to the pages. Set in modern-day Japan, the story is filled with contemporary references, making the situations seem entirely plausible. But as the plot twists and meanders, it is clear that what you are reading requires a suspension of reality and a willingness to take in the well-crafted writing as merely a different way to see things.

    Kafka Tamura finds love and adventure as he fights to uncover the power of his father's oedipal prophecy. As he travels Japan as a runaway, he finds himself wondering if his path is chosen for him as fate, or if he is living a life of coincidence. While wondering, but not searching, for the mother who left him as a young child, his only sister gone with her, he discovers much more than he bargained for.

    Having lived in Japan, the descriptions of the people and the places immediately drew me back to times spent in this friendly, yet oftentimes exotic locale. Reading Kafka on the Shore made Japan seem less foreign, and more strange at the same time. The language is compelling, even as it has been translated to English - a notable feat not generally achieved.

    Murakami will be regarded as one of the world's most unique and creative fiction writers and Kafka on the Shore is the perfect example of all he brings to the written page.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2008

    Kafka on the Shore

    Auther has a fantastic imagine thing he write it. His imagine so strange. But I did not stopped this book. I'm so curisity next page and next contents. I had interested Japanese novels about this book. This book is two people stories mixed them. It was funny and marvelous. I like this book and other Haruki's novels.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2013

    To read Kafka on the Shore is to weave through the malleable bou

    To read Kafka on the Shore is to weave through the malleable boundary between reality and fantasy, to meet philosophical prostitute, talking cats, and characters like Johnny Walker and Colonel Sanders, to dream of the dialectics of Hegal and the continuous time of Bergson converging with the Oedipal complex, to journey into Haruki Murakami’s imagination.




    I want to know whether Kafka killed his father, whether the librarian was his mother, and whether he was dreaming when he met his mother. I want to know whether Nakata was just fantasizing that he could talk to cats. But as in Murakami’s other two novels, The Wind Up Bird Chronicle and Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World, reality and dream synthesize into a world that transcends truth or illusion. And Murakami takes us along his wonderland and shows what we too could imagine if we free our minds from the biases, the limits, and the cannots we have accepted as truth.




    Reality almost seems sterile when we immerse ourselves in Murakami’s surrealism. And I invite you to dream along with Murakami on a shore far into the sea of imagination where a song’s lyrics echo back into reality.


    Leonard Seet

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    A

    A

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  • Posted April 30, 2011

    Wow this was a real page turnner.

    I have to say it's nice to read a book that offers a supernatural reality. I still find myself thinking about the book a month later

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  • Posted January 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not what I expected

    I have read only one other Murakami book before this one and was expecting the vocabulary and actual writing style to be very intense, but it turned out to be the complete opposite. I feel like the book is written in plain, easy to understand english, but has a very strong meaning. The story was incredibly thought provoking since what it mainly talks about is the thin line between whats going on in your head vs. actual reality. Definitely left an impression on me.

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  • Posted November 5, 2010

    ???????

    ??????????????

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    Quirky story

    This is a very, very unusual story, but involving, original and quirky - although found it a bit slow to get into. The plot evolves slowly and it takes a while to really understand what the book is about. Everything about this story is unusual and original - the plot is very, very surreal. The main elements of the plot are very ordinary - a teenager, a young man, a middle aged woman. However, each of the characters has their own issues and are very interesting. The plot involves ghosts, demons, spirits, etc, so it is very escapist or, as mentioned, surreal. The fact that it takes place in Japan increases the sense of originality as I (an American) read the book. It is enjoyable to read about the sites and historical stories from Japan Finally, the imagery is also very good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2007

    A reviewer

    I picked this book not having a clue on what it was about. And to be honest, after finishing the last page, I still have questions. This is good. An excellent book should leave an impression and Kafka certainly does. I love how Murakami weaves characters and their situations into one huge web that entangles the reader with each page turn. This is a thinking book and one needs to pay attention, but will find it rewarding. Grab an iced tea and enjoy what the tide brings to the shore.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2005

    a cup of coffee with a sweeter aftertaste

    while reading this novel, at times i was confused about where the storyline is heading, what the symbols stand for within the story, and what the author is trying to tell in this book. the ending was suprisingly concise and complete, given that the plot was loose and at times seem disorganized. however, after putting the book down, the story and characters came back to life, and i very soon start missing them. this book is to be read more than once, or even twice, because of its details and beauty. the author gives more opportunities for readers to answer questions on their own after they finish reading. overall, i think this is highly enjoyable literature, and i simply couldnt put it down !

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