The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel (Vintage International) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Amazon Prime Free Trial required. Sign up when you check out. Learn More
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel (Vintage International) on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel [Paperback]

Haruki Murakami
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.95
Price: CDN$ 13.68 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
You Save: CDN$ 5.27 (28%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Want it delivered Thursday, October 23? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition --  
Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $13.68  
Audio, CD, Audiobook CDN $72.27  
Join Amazon Student in Canada

Book Description

Sept. 1 1998 Vintage International
Japan's most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II.

In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat.  Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo.  As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan's forgotten campaign in Manchuria.

Gripping, prophetic, suffused with comedy and menace, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force equal in scope to the masterpieces of Mishima and Pynchon.

Frequently Bought Together

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel + Norwegian Wood + Kafka on the Shore
Price For All Three: CDN$ 38.91

  • Norwegian Wood CDN$ 12.27
  • Kafka on the Shore CDN$ 12.96

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

Product Description

From Amazon

Bad things come in threes for Toru Okada. He loses his job, his cat disappears, and then his wife fails to return from work. His search for his wife (and his cat) introduces him to a bizarre collection of characters, including two psychic sisters, a possibly unbalanced teenager, an old soldier who witnessed the massacres on the Chinese mainland at the beginning of the Second World War, and a very shady politician.

Haruki Murakami is a master of subtly disturbing prose. Mundane events throb with menace, while the bizarre is accepted without comment. Meaning always seems to be just out of reach, for the reader as well as for the characters, yet one is drawn inexorably into a mystery that may have no solution. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is an extended meditation on themes that appear throughout Murakami's earlier work. The tropes of popular culture, movies, music, detective stories, combine to create a work that explores both the surface and the hidden depths of Japanese society at the end of the 20th century.

If it were possible to isolate one theme in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, that theme would be responsibility. The atrocities committed by the Japanese army in China keep rising to the surface like a repressed memory, and Toru Okada himself is compelled by events to take responsibility for his actions and struggle with his essentially passive nature. If Toru is supposed to be a Japanese Everyman, steeped as he is in Western popular culture and ignorant of the secret history of his own nation, this novel paints a bleak picture. Like the winding up of the titular bird, Murakami slowly twists the gossamer threads of his story into something of considerable weight. --Simon Leake --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Amazingly long, incredibly pricey, wildly experimental, often confusing but never boring, Murakami's most famous novel has been brought to audio life with extreme dedication: by Naxos, a company that regularly wins prizes, and by a reader with an uncommon combination of skills. Degas is already a Murakami veteran, having read the audio version of A Wild Sheep Chase (Naxos), and has worked on radio, stage and even cartoon voice (including Mr. Bean). He catches the constantly changing mental landscape of Murakami's fertile imagination—which moves from detective story to explicit sexual fantasy, heartbreaking Japanese WWII historical flashback, everyday details of married life (cooking, shopping and pet care) and even the occasional burst of satiric humor. Degas treats it all with the clarity and calmness of a very deep, very still pool. Certainly not for everyone's taste or budget, but anyone interested in this important author will find something to enlighten them. Available as a Vintage paperback (Reviews, Aug. 18. 1997). (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
When the phone rang I was in the kitchen, boiling a potful of spaghetti and whistling along with an FM broadcast of the overture of the Rossini's The Thieving Magpie, which has to be the perfect music for cooking pasta. Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Help! March 24 2004
I really liked the book but it's so frustrating with all the loose ends. It's like a David Lynch movie, and I feel like I wasn't equipped with the proper skills to thoroughly interpet the symbolism and meaning of the book. Someone perfectly summed up all the dissatisfing points that I would like more clarification on:
"Despite the fact that I enjoyed reading this novel very much and think very highly of it, I do feel somewhat unsatisfied with a number of plot elements in the intertwining stories that I think were not properly explained.
1.) Regarding the nature of Noboru Wataya's dark power, which Kumiko and her sister were also tangled up with: It seems to me Noboru Wataya is a sort of black magician who has learned to harness this innate ability, and yet it is hinted at that the entire Wataya bloodline is somehow affected by this evil power. This evil entity is central to the plotline (It was in some way responsible for Kumiko's horrifying streak of extramarital [affairs] which in turn triggered her disappearance), yet the phenomenon surrounding it is kept extremely vague. This mysterious something was almost certainly behind Noboru Wataya's defilement of both Kumiko's sister and Creta Kano, but as for the purpose for these defilements we are kept in the dark. When Toru finally does battle with this evil entity, it still is kept extremely vague and we never get to see it. I found myself wishing Toru would ignore Kumiko's requests and turn the flashlight on it, just for curiosity's sake.
2.) Regarding the story of the young boy who I assume is Cinnamon who hears the wind up bird and then proceeds to witness two shady looking characters burying a certain something on his property.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I should start by saying that I usually like bizarre fiction. Well, "Wind-up Bird Chronicle" is certainly that. A "regular Joe" for the main character, surrounded by the weird and inexplicable - psychic sisters named after islands, a healer and her mute son (named after spices), a well with no water in it, and an alternative reality set in a hotel.
The beginning of the book sucks you in, written in a crisp, modern style, with no high-brow literary waffle. Very quickly you realise that something strange is happening to our "normal" protagonist, Toru Okada. The events don't seem to be connected in any way, but they are portrayed as clues, and you are batting for Toru to figure them out. The random, bizarre happenings make you excited, curious, desperate to read on.
So then you read on. And on. More strange characters and events get introduced. There are large forays into the Japanese occupation of Manchuria before WWII and gruesome stories of violence there. But still, you think (or rather hope, by now) that this will all be explained. Somehow. But alas, it isn't. And you begin to suspect that many of the things you thought were significant "clues", were actually just there to increase the "weird and quirky" factor.
At the end, several important people and occurances had just disappeared out of the novel (Malto and Creta Kano?), or were left hanging without explanation or resolve. I don't want the meaning of everything spelled out to me, I'm happy to use my imagination to figure some things out. But this book didn't even leave me with a skeleton on which to build my thoughts at the end. Only one of the themes (good vs. evil - how original) was resolved to my satisfaction.
Read Murakami's book for an introduction to his style, read it if the words "Japanese" and "bizarre" in combination sound good. But don't expect to finish it feeling contented.
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
When I was 12, Madeleine L'Engle's fantasy, "A Wrinkle in Time," effected me in a way no other book did - bridging the gap between childhood stories and grown-up novels. Like "A Wrinkle in Time" the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a fantastic tale in which a certain amount of the story occurs in places that are not of this world. We are given to suspect that some of these places might be in the protagonist's mind, or, they might not be. Set in Tokyo, this is the story of a young married man named Toru Okada whose cat and wife both disappear (under different circumstances). The reader follows Toru as he searches for them both (as well as his search for "self"), and in the process encounters oddly "re"named mystics, an endearing if somewhat depressed teenage neighbor girl, an old war veteran with horrible memories from Japan's engagements in Manchuria, and a megalomaniacal brother-in-law (by far the scariest character in anything I've read in a long time). The tale gripped me and was a great read. Murakami does fantastic things with both the physical and psychological details and has a way of drawing in the reader to feel (s)he is in Toru's head.
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars drama with spaghetti April 15 2004
Other reviewers have summarized the plot very well, so I will leave that out, and keep my comments short. This book reads like a No drama: full of ritualized, stylized drama hidden behind masks. In the end, you never really get inside the characters' lives; a successful novel draws you in, whether you want in or not. Partly, this is characteristic of Japan, circles within circles, barriers within barriers, but partly, I think the author is striving too hard for effect.
Was this review helpful to you?
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book, arrived very quickly.
Published 1 month ago by xenialarouge
4.0 out of 5 stars A dream-like adventure celebrating risk
Having no idea about the book or the author when it was recommended to me, I forever since have feared phone calls when cooking pasta. Read more
Published 13 months ago by SogeumHoochoo
4.0 out of 5 stars Right on.
Great book, lovingly used and getting some more love now! Arrived quickly with no problems at all. Very nice indeed.
Published 19 months ago by Donna Outtrim
4.0 out of 5 stars Stories Within Stories
A young man and his wife live in suburban Tokyo and one day his wife leaves for work and never comes home. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Daffy Bibliophile
3.0 out of 5 stars Audio version got me through this book
Toru Okada is in the midst of much more than a mid-life crisis. He quit his legal job and has yet to search for a new position. Read more
Published on April 5 2011 by Heather Pearson
4.0 out of 5 stars Creates more questions than it answers
First, the good: This is a highly readable book. I started The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle about 6 weeks ago, and read it through to the end. Read more
Published on Feb. 4 2010 by M. Yakiwchuk
5.0 out of 5 stars This will become your favourite Murakami novel
If you have just bought "After Dark," I wish you bon appetit. When you are finished the newest Murakami sensation, however, you must go back to this earlier, even more incredible... Read more
Published on June 11 2007 by A. Beyde
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, quirky, and unconsciously dark.
If you like stories, this book is full of them. The stories are arranged in this way: protagonist meets a mysterious stranger; mysterious stranger tells a mysterious tale; we're... Read more
Published on April 11 2007 by K
2.0 out of 5 stars Wind-Up Bird has no spring
Do you read for pain or pleasure, entertainment or enlightenment, to pass the time or punish yourself? Read more
Published on Oct. 12 2006 by Eric Pearce
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Book!
I was directed to The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by two friends. After hearing so much about them I picked up the novel expecting to be instantly blown away. Read more
Published on May 3 2005 by Louis Reville (Sacramento, CA)
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category