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Kafka on the Shore Unknown Binding – 3 October 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 3,256 ratings

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$42.64

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Product description

Review

Wonderful... Magical and outlandish ― Daily Mail

A magnificently bewildering achievement... Brilliantly conceived, bold in its surreal scope, sexy and driven by a snappy plot... Exuberant storytelling ―
Independent on Sunday

Cool, fluent and addictive ―
Daily Telegraph

Hypnotic, spellbinding ―
The Times

Addictive... Exhilarating... A pleasure ―
Evening Standard

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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0099458322
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ VINTAGE ARROW - MASS MARKET; 1st edition (3 October 2005)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Unknown Binding ‏ : ‎ 512 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780099458326
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0099458326
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.9 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 3,256 ratings

About the author

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Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. His work has been translated into more than fifty languages, and the most recent of his many international honors is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J. M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V. S. Naipaul.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
3,256 global ratings

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Top reviews from Australia

Reviewed in Australia on 27 June 2019
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Reviewed in Australia on 24 February 2018

Top reviews from other countries

Atul Kumar Singh
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Realism at its best, one of the best works of Murakami
Reviewed in India on 7 April 2019
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Atul Kumar Singh
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Realism at its best, one of the best works of Murakami
Reviewed in India on 7 April 2019
This was Haruki Murakami’s second book I read (after ‘Norwegian Wood’), due to its wide popularity. Murakami is one of the pioneers in ‘Magical Realism’ genre, and this is evident in this book too. This is one of the best works of Murakami, an extremely engrossing tale of two central characters – a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who has run away from his home in search of his long-missing mother and sister or to escape an Oedipal prophecy. Another central character is named Nakata, who, in his own words, is ‘not so bright’. Both these characters, living their individual lives, their destinies are somehow entwined.

The book has brilliant instances of magical realism such as –
- Cats having conversations with people
- Colonel Sanders (of the KFC fame), appearing out of nowhere, employing a prostitute.
- World War II soldiers who have not aged
- Fish falling from the sky
- A murder where the identity of both the victim and murderer is a mystery
- A small stone so heavy, that a person can barely lift it
- Concepts of reincarnation and destiny

Murakami’s forte lies in using bizarre instances, simple but soul touching dialogues, interesting & quirky characters, to weave a magical tale. This novel is no different and is an absolutely crazy ride. If you’re picking this book, you should expect all this, and more. What I love about Murakami, is that the story almost always takes you beyond the normal bounds of human reality, into some sort of an alternate world where metaphysical magic happens!

For people who are new to Murakami’s style of writing, they might find a lot of events really random. And yes, they are random at times. Not denying that bit. But maybe, that’s the whole charm of his writing, where certain things happen which are totally unexpected.

‘Kafka on the Shore’ is a story about a fifteen-year-old teenager, who runs away from home. He decides to leave his home in order to find his lost mother and sister, but mostly, as it’s described in the book, to get away from his father. The father figure has been shown in a negative light, but not much into detail. His fate lands him to a distant town, where he meets a gay friend, who helps him through a big part of his journey. He also meets two exceptional women, who could have been his mother or sister, and ends up copulating with them. This is one phase of the story. Simultaneously, Murakami introduces you to a simpleton sexagenarian, Nakata, who has kind of lost his reasoning abilities in an incident which in some way is related to the extra-terrestrial. Nakata, although not so bright, has a weird gift of talking to cats and making fish fall from the sky. Somehow, Kafka and Nakata’s destinies are interconnected, and the whole book is about their journey. The book is extremely engrossing and entertaining. Now, as it usually happens with Murakami’s work, some of the questions have been left unanswered and some events have an open-ended interpretation. So, if you’re someone who likes straightforward stories, you might be disappointed on these fronts.

Favorite Quotes from the book:
- “Each person feels pain in his own way, each has his own scars.”
- “If you think God’s there, He is. If you don’t, He isn’t. And if that’s what God’s like, I wouldn’t worry about it.”
- “Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”
- “If you remember me, then I don't care if everyone else forgets.”
- “Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back. That's part of what it means to be alive. But inside our heads - at least that's where I imagine it - there's a little room where we store those memories. A room like the stacks in this library. And to understand the workings of our own heart we have to keep on making new reference cards. We have to dust things off every once in a while, let in fresh air, change the water in the flower vases. In other words, you'll live forever in your own private library.”
- “Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.”
- “Listen up - there's no war that will end all wars.”
- “Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive.”
- “Closing your eyes isn't going to change anything. Nothing's going to disappear just because you can't see what's going on. In fact, things will even be worse the next time you open your eyes. That's the kind of world we live in. Keep your eyes wide open. Only a coward closes his eyes. Closing your eyes and plugging up your ears won't make time stand still.”
- “Chance encounters are what keep us going.”
- “Being with her I feel a pain, like a frozen knife stuck in my chest. An awful pain, but the funny thing is I'm thankful for it. It's like that frozen pain and my very existence are one.”
- “It's hard to tell the difference between sea and sky, between voyager and sea. Between reality and the workings of the heart.”
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Barcs
4.0 out of 5 stars My First Murakami book was Interesting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 August 2020
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15 people found this helpful
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@bookspace0305
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the book which one must read at least once in his or her lifetime 😊
Reviewed in India on 21 September 2018
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@bookspace0305
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the book which one must read at least once in his or her lifetime 😊
Reviewed in India on 21 September 2018
MURAKAMI (KAFKA ON THE SHORE)

BY HARUKI MURAKAMI❤

Background😊

There are two stories moving in the same line interconnected to each other.
The book starts with Kafka Tamura who is 15years old who has on runaway from his home hiding from a dark prophecy made by his father.Kafka character is a silent focused and a guy who talks with his subconscious mind named crow.On his runaway journey Kafka has some extraordinary experiences which are hard to believe.Also few days after his runaway his father is found dead in his own home.. stabbed in his own house..
The second story that is about a Special old man name NAKATA....frankly I loved nakata character more than Kafka....the reason I said special...because Kafka has a differential way of speaking ..Dan normal man and also he can talk to cats😉but nakata was not always so...he had experience at school which changed his life for ever....Nakata character is mysterious and full of life and addictive....
And there is fish tumble from the skull; a ghost like pimp deploys a hegel spouting girl of the night....and complete package of wide imagination..
This book was recommended by one of @helly video and I'm thankful for it

🌝Review
☁the books has various parts which are really hard to digest so it is slow absorbing book so one cant read in one set how addictive one might find
☁You should keep ur mind to all kind off possibility
☁the language is ❤❤❤❤ ...the main reason is to just enjoy it
☁if ur impatient reader den the book is not for u..
☁the are several unanswered question In the book..the book makes u think
☁4🌟/5
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MDReviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliantly surreal, parallel narrative from Murakami
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 May 2019
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9 people found this helpful
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@booksandkindness
5.0 out of 5 stars Great deal, excellent quality, must read.
Reviewed in India on 26 February 2017
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@booksandkindness
5.0 out of 5 stars Great deal, excellent quality, must read.
Reviewed in India on 26 February 2017
This was my first Murakami book, which took me to this spellbinding outlandish adventure around Japan. If you like weird, abstract, mysterious storytelling, 'Kafka on the Shore' will blow your mind. 😄
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