Kafka On The Shore

With Murakami one can always expect the highly improbable and the utterly mundane to be interwoven so tightly that you can’t tell which is which. I think that’s what all the ‘magic realism’ is about; it pretends to be real but isn’t because the magic interrupts, quite frequently. In most Murakami books you’d usually find a collection of bizarre dreams, lots of talk about cats, jazz and/ or classical music, food being prepared and dissociative characters. I realized after reading Kafka on the shore how bizarre plots could get so hypnotizing. With talking cats, fishing falling from the sky, philosophy spouting sex workers, unaging soldiers and a ghostlike pimp set in complex situations and described in different scenes, the author is seen pulling a trick or two every few pages. He has this rare ability to bind the reader, evoke different emotions and leave them wondering as to what has transpired. I had to, in the middle of reading, re-read passages to make sure I was following what was going on. To use a quote from the book “when you come out of a storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in, that’s what the storm’s all about.” Kafka on the shore was a bit of that storm. I read many Murakami books after that but none which came close to this.