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Kafka on the Shore Paperback – Jan 3 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (Jan. 3 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400079276
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400079278
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.7 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sam TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Dec 18 2009
Format: Paperback
"The world is a metaphor..." (465)

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami is a difficult novel to understand, and the ending is not detailed. This is one of those novels that Murakami suggested should be read more than once to fully comprehend.

I thoroughly enjoyed the references to Greek tragedies and philosophy. And the translation of his prose was magnificent. As always, it seemed as though you were reading poetry because the words fit so well together.

The story itself seems to be inspired by Greek tragedy, mainly Oedipus Rex. Nothing was told about how the oedipal prophecy came to be, but with the hints given through out the narrative, and with the aide of Johnnie Walker, one can suspect the origins. I believe that this is a story about fate, and how it has the power to bring people together.

If you do not like the story, than at least you can appreciate the ingenious way the story is plotted and the way that the characters' dialogues were crafted. Through some of the dialogues, it seems as though Murakami is trying to let the world know about his tastes in music and literature. The journey of the characters is quite an adventure, that when looked back it, seems odd yet remarkable. The most interesting character, I found, was Oshima, the one with who Kafka had intellectual conversations with regarding literature and told many of his theories to.

"Waves of consciousness roll in, roll out, leave some writing, and just as quickly new waves roll in and erase it. I try to quickly read what's written there, between one wave and the next, but it's hard. Before I can read it the next wave's washed it away. All that's left are puzzling fragments." This seems to be what the title and the story are about.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amber on Jan. 27 2005
Format: Hardcover
KAFKA ON THE SHORE is sheer brilliance. Following the same proven track of the great stories of two separate lives somehow oddly intertwined like the classic TOM SAWYER, the modern masterpiece MY FRACTURED LIFE, or Murakami's previous THE WIND UP BIRD CHRONICLE, Murakami paints an utterly satisfying and multi-leveled story. The characters are masterful and eccentric. A stunning achievement.
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By B. Johnston on June 6 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're a Murakami fan, then you should definitely give this novel a try!

This book follows two main characters: 15-year-old Kafka, who runs away from his brutal father to search for his mother and sister; and an older man, Nakata, who lost a good portion of his mental capacities during an oddly interrupted field trip when he was a young boy, but he can communicate with cats.

The metaphysical plot is a puzzle that Murakami has said must be solved by the reader, and each reader will probably find a different solution. A reread yields more depth.

Highly recommended!
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By Patrick St-Denis TOP 500 REVIEWER on Aug. 11 2012
Format: Paperback
Intruiged, I purchased Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore the week it won the World Fantasy Award in 2005. It's been sitting there on my shelf for the last couple of years, awaiting my attention. And recently, it kept moving up in the rotation. In the end, I caved in and finally decided to give it a shot.

Why wait for so long? Well, perusing reviews and related material, I soon learned that a vasy chunk of the author's readership never understood the novel. Back in 2002, Haruki Murakami's Japanese publisher set up a website on which readers were invited to submit questions regarding the meaning of the book. More than 8000 questions were received. And according to Murakami, the secret to understanding the novel lies in reading it multiple times. "Kafka on the Shore contains several riddles, but there aren't any solutions provided. Instead, several of these riddles combine, and through their interaction the possibility of a solution takes shape. And the form this solution takes will be different for each reader. To put it another way, the riddles function as part of the solution. It's hard to explain, but that's the kind of novel I set out to write," the author tried to explain. All in all, it didn't inspire a whole lot of confidence in me.

Still, my curiosity was piqued and I knew I'd read it, hopefully sooner than later. . .

Here's the blurb:

An unusual and mesmerising novel from the cult Japanese author.

Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down.
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By Goodwing on May 22 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cross between many books. Interesting notions/ideas. Enjoyed it, but not my favorite. Gave it 4 stars- closer to 3 maybe. Liked the flow. Liked the convergence. Missed a bit of punch. Nicely different from western authors. NB. Graphic sexual content - just in case that offends you, be warned.

Cheers.
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By Road King on Sept. 16 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is like nothing you've read, reality and fantasy converge and disconnect. An incredible insight into modern Japanese culture and thought which sweeps up the reader into following the actions of the protagonists as they inevitably come together.

Very different, and very, very good.
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