Review: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami.

Toru Okada’s cat has disappeared. His wife is growing more distant every day. Then there are the increasingly explicit telephone calls he has recently been receiving.

It all seems odd and disjointed when you read the blurb, and as I started to read Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle I was really struck by how stunning the writing was. Okada is living a life he would never be able to afford, has quit his job and is dissatisfied with much of his life, searching for that something to make it all click.

On the search for his cat, he strikes up an odd relationship with May Kashara, an almost wise beyond her years teen. The mystery caller piques interest, as do the Kano sisters, and Nutmeg & Cinnamon when they appear, but. And it’s a generally big but.

I don’t get it.

The spiritual side of it just was and, as I’ve said before, I am 100% fine for you to say or do something, but I would like some kind of explanation. Not it just was. The book fleets between fantasy-dreamlike sequences and reality, which is fine, I quite like when the line was blurred because it made me wonder what it all meant, what was going to happen.

Characters pop up at random times, long-winded stories cross over one another. And I know there’s surely a reason for them, but it’s easy to get a bit lost in it.

So, I liked it but in the middle got lost along the way. I generally like a relatively linear book so this threw me, but I can’t deny the writing was just wonderful. I’m lucky enough to be seeing Murakami at the Edinburgh Book Festival later today talking about this very book, so I hope this will at least shine a little more clarity on where I fell from it.

But yeah, I like. Not 100% sold, but will definitely try more of his books. Any recs?


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