Kafka on the Shore is a book I’ve known about for a very long time, as my husband is a massive Murakami fan (he may or may not have a password with the guy’s name), so I have always planned to read something of his eventually. I couldn’t decide what book to read after finishing Alice I Have Been so I decided to finally give Murakami a try!
Kafka is a strange 15 year old who has lived a somewhat sad existence thus far. Early in the book we see Kafka run away from home to escape a future he does not wish to accept. A man named Nakata is on a path that will eventually intersect with that of Kafka’s. The end result is one that includes strange dreams, talking to inanimate objects, hints of Greek mythology, and Colonel Sanders. Bizarre!
The characters in this book are multi-layered and incredibly complex, no one is quite who they seem to be at first glance. I enjoyed watching Kafka mature and change depending on his surroundings and interactions with other characters. Murakami includes a romantic story line but it is not what I would have expected. Kafka’s romantic relationships take more prevalence as the book unfolds but it never becomes the main plot line. The settings were well written and I was able to see a clear picture of where the characters were at any given point in time. Murakami uses a strange style of writing in that some of the text is bolded to show that it is an internal thought of Kafka’s. I became used to it about halfway through but had a hard time reading this way in the beginning.
Recommended for those who…
Have an interest in Japanese culture
Enjoy surrealist themes
Have an interest in Greek mythology
“We all die and disappear, but that’s because the mechanism of the world itself is built on destruction and loss.”
If you liked Kafka on the Shore you may like:
number9dream by David Mitchell
Have you read Kafka on the Shore or anything other Murakami books? Tell us what you thought below in the comments.