Book Review: Kafka On the Shore by Haruki Murakami

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Man I’m really on a roll with these book reviews! This one’s pretty easy, though, check it out: WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?! Review over.

Just kidding. Actually, here is my reenactment of the entire novel (SPOILERS?):

Kafka: Are you my mother?
Person who may be his mother: No. Yes. Maybe?
Kafka: Should we have sex?
Person who may be his mother: Sure.

Kafka: And you, are you my sister?
Person who may be his sister: No. Yes. Maybe?
Kafka: Should we have sex?
Person who may be his sister: Why not?

Kafka: And you, are you a boy or a girl?
Person who may be a boy or a girl: Boy. Girl. Both?

Kafka: Am I dead?
Everybody: No. Yes. Maybe?

Kafka: Seriously, what is with this book?
The Reader: An excruciatingly psychoanalytic look at the angst and existential nature of the pubescent teenager?
Kafka: Maybe…
The Reader: Modern retelling of Oedipus Rex?
Kafka: Eh…
The Reader: Japanese writers are crazy?
Kafka: That’s the ticket.

You just keep being you, Mr. Murakami. And I’ll keep reading.

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  • I’m definitely enjoying the ride. He’s a crazy genius – he writes like no other person on the planet. “South of the Border” made me depressed as hell but I liked it. “Wind Up Bird” was incredible. But “Kafka” has to be one of the strangest things I’ve ever read, and I’m still puzzling my way through it. It’s hard to feel resolution with a book that doesn’t insist on any answers for the questions it provides.

    But I’m eager to try another of his. Is Hard Boiled Wonderland what you’d recommend I try next?

  • Something tells me the book club girls might not be into this one 🙂 That said the thought of you four reading it brings me all sorts of joy. It certainly would lead to a lot of discussion!

    If you do want to bring a Murakami book to the table (or read one yourself!) I think I’d recommend “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” first. It’s a better book anyway.

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