What I’m Reading: Kafka On the Shore
November 18, 2012 Leave a comment
I’ve just finished reading Haruki Murakami‘s Kafka On the Shore. It’s a beautiful surrealist tale from the veteran Japanese author that has left me wanting to read more of his expansive and accomplished work. Kafka’ is the story of two people connected in several ways and whose interactions connect across this world and more… To say to much would be unravel much of Murakami’s beautiful and mystical world but know this: With an open mind this book will transport you through several beautiful worlds.
Personally I am usually a lover of more grounded, real literature. By which I mean stories about the real world and the personal, subtle stories that can be told of the people that inhabit this world. This is what really helped define the impact that Kafla’ had for me; recommended to me by a friend and described with loose, engmatic words I felt it worth investing in this curious sounding tale.
What I found was an incredibly well paced story that juggles the story of it’s two protagonists (Kafka: a young runaway and Nakata: the old, simple cat finder) but one that also lets its story world blossom over the 500 or so pages it takes to finish. Murakami does an excellent job of filtering through Japanese ideology and surrealist ideas through a narrative that starts grounded and reality and finishes far from it.
If I had to criticise the book I would have to say that I found the ending wound down into a whimper than the climax I felt was sure to come. And also, that the two plots that were becoming more and more connected through the narrative finished in a way I found a little unsatisfying.
However, this book is definitely one I would recommend to others. It’s unlike much I have read before and in a way, feels like it’s own mythic creation: the book being something that could be passed on with a whisper to others in the future, a spiritual vessel for readers exploring their own subconscious.
Because ultimately that is what Kafka’ does best. It opens up the minds of it’s characters and shows us that maybe, our own minds are not so different.