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{Read} 海辺のカフカ [Umibe no Kafuka]Author Haruki Murakami –

Kafka On The Shore, A Tour De Force Of Metaphysical Reality, Is Powered By Two Remarkable Characters A Teenage Boy, Kafka Tamura, Who Runs Away From Home Either To Escape A Gruesome Oedipal Prophecy Or To Search For His Long Missing Mother And Sister And An Aging Simpleton Called Nakata, Who Never Recovered From A Wartime Affliction And Now Is Drawn Toward Kafka For Reasons That, Like The Most Basic Activities Of Daily Life, He Cannot Fathom Their Odyssey, As Mysterious To Them As It Is To Us, Is Enriched Throughout By Vivid Accomplices And Mesmerizing Events Cats And People Carry On Conversations, A Ghostlike Pimp Employs A Hegel Quoting Prostitute, A Forest Harbors Soldiers Apparently Unaged Since World War II, And Rainstorms Of Fish And Worse Fall From The Sky There Is A Brutal Murder, With The Identity Of Both Victim And Perpetrator A Riddle Yet This, Along With Everything Else, Is Eventually Answered, Just As The Entwined Destinies Of Kafka And Nakata Are Gradually Revealed, With One Escaping His Fate Entirely And The Other Given A Fresh Start On His Own

10 thoughts on “海辺のカフカ [Umibe no Kafuka]

  1. says:

    Few books have infected me with boredom induced ADD, the desire to gnaw my own foot off at the ankle, and the state of mind you might experience if forced to sit upon a nest of hornets while watching your home being burglarized, but this was one of them It took me until page 70 to stop wanting to hop up and rearrange the spice cupboard or my sock drawer every few sentences, but then the feeling returned at page 243 Only 224 pages to go From then on, my hatred and resentment of this book progressively grew like a dead cow bloating in the heat Kafka on the Shore is a mess It is such a mess that it makes my six year old son s post playdate bedroom look like Buckingham Palace Loosely based on the Oedipus myth, and taking some obvious inspiration from Catcher in the Rye, this book seems to be little than a random hodgepodge of ideas held together with pipe cleaners and raspberry jam There was so much to hate about this book Here are just a few things 1 Boring, unnecessary descriptions that do nothing to further the story of what people are wearing, what Kafka likes to do during his workout, what he decides to eat, what he is listening to on his Walkman, and so on I wouldn t have been surprised to read a monologue from Kafka along the lines of When I wipe my arse, I like to use just four squares of toilet paper, no , no less I count them out one, two, three, four Then I fold the length over once, and again Equipped now with the perfect, handheld quilt, I wipe in a single, expert, sweeping motion front to back Examine the paper to determine whether I need to repeat the process However, I would add that this is only if the paper is two ply For one ply paper, I need a minimum of eight sheets, but only if they are of high quality If not of high quality, the boy Crow reminds me, Remember, you ve got to be the toughest 15 year old on the planet 2 The gratuitous cat torture scene Johnnie Walker him off the whiskey bottle has to cut the hearts out of living cats and eat them so that he can collect cat souls to make a special kind of flute There is no freakin point to this scene whatsoever we never hear about Johnnie or his cat flute again.3 The annoying way characters Oshima in particular deliver sermons about philosophy, art, literature and classical music It took me right out of the story tangled mess though it was and smacked of Look at me aren t I clever 4 The screechy preachy scene with the feminist caricatures in the library.5 Hate to be ungroovy or whatever but I just couldn t stand any of the sex scenes, particularly with Miss Saeki, the 50 something librarian who gets it on over and over again with the 15 year old protagonist even though he and she both know she might be his long lost mother Excuse me while I go mop the vomitus off of my living room wall.After the first 100 pages I thought that I might end up giving this book three stars Another 100 pages on, I decided two stars By page 331 I decided one star, and by the end of this frustrating, pretentious, and completely unsatisfying book, I felt like I d squandered so much of my precious life reading this pile o doo doo that I didn t want to give it even one star However, since Mr Murakami knows how to spell or at least, I m assuming he does since this is a translation I will relent In the end, love or loathing of a book is entirely subjective, and scores of critics loved this one As for me, I feel that if I d wanted to find meaning in a random jumble of junk, I would have had luck going to the thrift store and sifting through the bric a brac box than wasting time on Mr Murakami s brain omelette.

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    . , , , , , , , , Lisa Ito, is the young super talented illustrator of the pictures of the novel at the beginning of the review ,you can know about her and her amazing site for the novel here , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , The X Files , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Master scene , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 4 2014 8 2014 27 29 2014

  4. says:

    Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions You change direction but the sandstorm chases you You turn again, but the storm adjusts Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn Why Because this storm isn t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you This storm is you Something inside of you So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn t get in, and walk through it, step by step There s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones That s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine His given name isn t Kafka Tamura, but when he decides to strike out on his own he gave himself a name that properly fit the version of himself he wanted to become Kafka means crow in Czech A name of significance to an inner self His father is a world famous sculptor, a man admired for the strength of emotion his creations inspire He also brought his son into existence no hocus pocus herethe old fashioned way molding him as if he were inanimate clay, infusing him with imagination, and in the end like a demented soothsayer, warping him with an Oedipus curse.Kill the father.Sex the sister Seduce the mother It s all a question of imagination Our responsibility begins with the power to imagine It s just like Yeats said In dreams begin responsibilities Flip this around and you could say that where there s no power to imagine, no responsibility can arise Kafka is fifteen, not going on sixteen, but barely fifteen He is on a quest to find lose escape avoid the prophecy Like an arrow shot by a sure hand he lands at a private library managed by a beautiful woman named Miss Saeki I look for the fifteen year old girl in her and find her right away She s hidden, asleep, like a 3 D painting in the forest of her heart But if you look carefully you can spot her My chest starts pounding again, like somebody s hammering a long nail into the walls surrounding it Kafka feels a kinship with her that makes him wonder if she is his long lost mother She has experienced tragedy, losing a lover when she was fifteen, and leaving behind a ghost of herself that becomes a haunting experience for Kafka While they re still alive, people can become ghosts As a parallel story we follow the old man Nakata and his truck driving sidekick Hoshino Nakata experienced something as a child during the war that left him unable to comprehend reality, but also opened up doorways in his mind to things that if they ever existed in our minds have long been lost He is crazy.He is a prophet.He can talk to cats.He can understand stones.He can open an umbrella and leeches or fish or lightening can fall from the sky He isn t crazy Nakata searches for lost cats and discovers in the process that he has an arch nemesis in a cat killing phantom named Johnnie Walker Johnnie turns cats into beautiful flutes and collects their heads in a similar fashion to big game hunters After a confrontation Nakata finds himself with the need to leave which dovetails perfectly with his quest to find an entrance stone that opens up another world, another world where things have been left behind You should start searching for the other half of your shadow The connection between Nakata and Kafka are very strong Their dreams mingle, a nemesis for one is a nemesis for the other They may have different names, but they are one and the same The quest for one of our heroes is contingent on the success of the other If they are aware of each other it is buried under their own current perceptions of reality One of the humorous moments is when Hoshino, once a perfectly sane normal human being, meets Colonel Sanders, not someone dressed as Colonel Sanders, but the finger lickin good, fried chicken magnet himself Hoshino, after several days of trying to wrap his head around the eccentricities of his traveling companion, is in need of relaxation As it turns out the Colonel can help him have the best time of his life He hooks him up with a prostitute, but not just any prostitute The pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future In truth, all sensation is already memory A philosophical prostitute with a special penchant for Hegel Hegel believed that a person is not merely conscious of self and object as separate entities, but through the projection of the self via the mediation of the object is volitionally able to gain a deeper understanding of the self All of which constitutes self consciousness I dont know what the heck you re talking about Well, think of what I m doing to you right now For me I m the self, and you re the object For you, of course, it s the exact opposite you re the self to you and I m the object And by exchanging self and object, we can project ourselves into the other and gain self consciousness Volitionally I still don t get it, but it sure feels good That s the whole idea the girl said.I have a new appreciation for Hegel.Kafka also meets a fantastic character named Oshima which I really can t talk about without explaining him in detail, but by explaining him in detail would reveal a rather surprising moment in the book which I really want to preserve for those that haven t read this book yet Let s just say he isn t exactly who he seems, but he is exactly who he says he is He proves to be the perfect friend for anyone, but for a dream questing fifteen year old runaway trying to escape an Oedipus Curse he is a steady rock to understand even those things beyond the scope of comprehension He sees things for than what they are.Oshima explains to Kafka why he likes Schubert That s why I like to listen to Schubert while I m driving Like I said, it s because all the performances are imperfect A dense, artistic kind of imperfection stimulates your consciousness, keeps you alert If I listen to some utterly perfect performance of an utterly perfect piece while I m driving I might want to close my eyes and die right then and there But listening to the D major, I can feel the limits of what humans are capable of that a certain type of perfection can only be realized through a limitless accumulation of the imperfect And personally, I find that encouraging It is hard for those of us who have based their whole life off of reason to keep from instantly dismissing the improbable, the impossible, the absurd, the preposterous, but you must if you are going to hang with Haruki Murakami Although, I must say there is something very accessible about his writing style that makes the transition from reality to alternative reality to fantasy back to a new reality painless We all have mystical things happen to us We rarely recognize it, most times we fill in what we don t understand with something we can understand and in the process snap the threads of the extraordinary I feel the lure of the unknown quite regularly I feel the itch to leave everything and go someplace where no one knows my name A place where maybe I can find the rest of my self, the lost selves each holding a fragment of the missing part of my shadow If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visithttp www.jeffreykeeten.comI also have a Facebook blogger page at

  5. says:

    This was definitely an interesting read I feel like I will have to read it again for everything to fully make sense, but I was surprised by how easy this book was to follow I also loved the writing style I will definitely be giving books by Haruki Murakami ago in the future.

  6. says:

    I feel compelled to say something about this right now, simply for the fact that I have seen a lot of Murakami bickering on goodreads over the years, and it has done nothing but increase in frequency in the moments leading up to, during, and beyond the release of his mammoth novel 1Q84, meaning the last couple o months I guess I just feel a need to state my case for the man, since he seems severely divisive in this striking way Sure, I could certainly compose a lengthy list of love or hate writers I ve witnessed throughout my stint on this website, but Murakami is one of the dudes who seems to catch oddly equal amount of rapturous praise and sneering vitriol When one considers reading his work and attempts to decide whether or not to invest the time based solely on the thoughts others have shared here on this website, it must make the head do some Exorcist spins It has been nearly a decade since I first jumped into Murakami s world, and the majority of my readings of his works were conducted in the rapid fire process which ensued almost immediately after my cherry popper, The Wind Up Bird Chronicle Having always been a classics sorta girl, occasionally dipping into beat and dystopian works, it was a strange experience to approach something so far removed from what I was accustomed to appreciating I loved it, thoughpassionately loved it at the time, and stuck with him over the years as a consistent replacement for the dreams that I do not ever remember having Like, ever I find myself increasingly disappointed by the Murakami I read, though, and I m not sure if that is a matter of growing out of him, or simply reading his best works first, and his lesser works after.However, this is a great book As I recall I will continue to note it as a favorite if only for the fact that at the time, I felt something stirring in my subconscious which had previously been silently stewing He manages to orchestrate a veritable dance of imagery with his bizarro story lines, and he is pretty insightful on the subject of dark emotional landscapes in his stilted, very Japanese way This is a great book I want people to love him and his novels as much as I do In fact, I want to still love his novels as much as I remember that I did when first exposed to them I did read one of his short stories much recently, though, Tony Takitani and I definitely found it to be a haunting and ethereal seance of death fears, lost loves, and regret which reminded me of all those big, intangible emotions type o thangs that made me love his work way back when I was a drunken, reckless, irresponsible art school kid who had barely just evacuated her mother s birth canal and spent most of her time poor, painfully morosely hungover, clutching a cigarette in her fixer stinking hand while muttering various cynicisms to herself, and perpetually wondering what the fuck she was doing about anything and everything Alright, almost everything I just said still applies, but at least I acknowledge it now Basically, I should reread his works and reconsider my perspective I doubt I will ever do that, though I m sorta fond of my fond memories of fondness All the same, if you read this or similar novels by him and think they suck, don t give me grief about it I remember him in that way in which you recollect a lover who may have been a horrible match, but treated you well enough to warrant an occasional what if type of idealized bullshit reminiscence I m glad I read him when I did, but I must confess that as soon as I held a hard copy of 1Q84 in my hands, made note of the necessary time commitment, and considered the number of books of equal length that I desperately want to read, I just knew that Murakami and I were basically through I will still go in for the occasional quickie, but I just don t think I m ready to settle down with him and get serious again That was then and this is now Know what I m sayin He s still a wonderful storyteller, though I hope that if you two have yet to meet, it s under the right circumstances when you do He s a lovely fella.

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  8. says:

    Kafka on the Shore is a metaphor It follows no rules, it doesn t adhere to reason, and applicability is not an issue It fills you up, it tears you down A fugue of emotions are present, you can t seem to figure out which of the many different realizations flooding you is most important Waves roll up again and again on the beach of your consciousness and at first you resist, but after a while you understand that your struggle is pointless, so you give in You read, you feel, you try to understand, you try to make sense And you know what You love it I don t think I can adequately get the gist of a Murakami experience on a goodreads review It s something else, something you have to experience for yourself I will try, but I know I shall fail You have to realize that reading Murakami requires a unity of perception and feeling I can try to make you understand certain concepts found in the book, but I will fall short on the sensory part Murakami s strength is the feeling he wraps around his teachings He s a surrealist painter, a musician, an oddity that weaves consciousness with pop culture and makes it work People say his works are easily accessible yet elegantly complex, I whole heartedly agree His style is so rich and resonant that it can dabble into lunacy without any sort of urgency He isn t regulated in any way, a writer free from normative paradigms and moral constraints He s pretty strange, but trust me, it s awesome the way he writes Okay, I m gonna stop myself here All I m going to say is try it, experience it See for yourself This novel is shared between two people s inter connected tales of self discovery A damaged fifteen year old named Kafka, an illiterate and magical old man named Nakata, one fleeing from something, the other searching, one looking forward, the other looking back, one with a bright future ahead of him, the other with a dark past Two very different people, yet their fates are intertwined by something so inconspicuous As I said, Murakami hurls many different things at you at break neck speed He can talk about fate one minute, then drop it and talk about imperfection the next It s kind of messy at times, but the cumulative effect is still pretty solid It s like he s packing everything in a mumble jumble of thoughts that confusion is a constant But when you sift through his words, you find that your confusion is of feeling than an actual state of mind You understand him perfectly, but you can t put into words the emotion inside you Stunning is I think the closest word possible to describing it For me, though, the thing that stood out the most was his ode to time Most things are forgotten over time Even the war itself, the life and death struggle people went through is now like something from the distant past We re so caught up in our everyday lives that events of the past are no longer in orbit around our minds There are just too many things we have to think about every day, too many new things we have to learn But still, no matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away They remain with us forever, like a touchstone Time is an important concept It is correlated to love and memory, two other topics that are central in Murakami s points You see, some people when they find love and are at their happiest, they want to freeze time and live in that moment forever But what they have to know is that a moment alone will lose all meaning The present is useless without both the past and future You cannot appreciate something without knowing how you got there nor understanding that something will come out of it The past gives a history, the future a possibility Time is thing of beauty Life without it is like air, you exist but you are stagnant and boring With it, it is like the wind, moving, dancing, flowing into the unknown But not only that, time makes love possible, because love takes time 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 Aside from love, time also makes one important thing possible Memories If you remember me, then I don t care if everyone else forgets It allows us to store things inside our minds so that we can cherish them as long as we can It permits us to remember those that have been, those that build up who we are Because each person is shaped by the cumulative memories that he or she makes Whether they may be happy or painful or boring, they mold us into who we are Identity is slowly transformed over time, with our memories playing a vital role Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions You change direction but the sandstorm chases you You turn again, but the storm adjusts Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn Why Because this storm isn t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you This storm is you Something inside of you So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn t get in, and walk through it, step by step There s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones That s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades People will bleed there, and you will bleed too Hot, red blood You ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.And once the storm is over you won t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive You won t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over But one thing is certain When you come out of the storm you won t be the same person who walked in That s what this storm s all about Our identity, no matter how much time and memories change it, some part of it will stay the same There are things that are unchangeable, things that will make you look into the past and see the same thing now But, there are things that we purposely hold on to that hurt us, things that we hide in us and contain through time Things that we can let go of, but we don t, even if it is painful A time will come when you will have to let go In everybody s life there s a point of no return And in a very few cases, a point where you can t go forward any And when we reach that point, all we can do is quietly accept the fact That s how we survive As long as there s such a thing as time, everybody s damaged in the end, changed into something else But if that happens, you ve got a place you can retrace your steps to Retrace your steps to A place that s worth coming back to As I finish this review, I m very excited Yes, I know that I ve got my memories to look back to, but what I m excited about are those memories that haven t been made yet The future is ahead of me, I ve got time on my hands The possibilities are endless.

  9. says:

    There are two reasons as to why I chose Kafka on the shore as my first Murakami s novel 1.The name Kafka in the title unconventional and erudite 2.There are cats in this book and they talk and I love Cats unconventional criteria Hence my journey began into Harukis s surreal world of inebriating storytelling that has surely made me addictive I was completely clueless as to what to expect from this novel and I am glad that I was, since contrariwise the subsequent experience I had wouldn t have been that much fulfilling and magical It s a common belief that when you read a book you not only read but live the characters and story within and since we have that much privilege then why not extend our geographical boundaries to a state of fantasy where anything and everything is possible Kafka on the shore provides you exactly that One might feel being lost in a reverie and if you take a break from that you might ask yourself, OK What the hell am I reading But you go back to it like an adamant lover to his beloved Such books are heavy on a reader s mind and have its after effects too One start vying for and and begin questioning a lot many things because after all Truth is the source of most Fiction This novel doesn t come up as wholly solely metaphysical but a blend of reality and philosophy with supernatural by that I mean, not all characters in this book are abnormal, but abnormality is also a reality for many so that it remains at an acceptable level of fiction The theme constitutes of 2 worlds here, that of the living and of the dead and how both are connected to each other It transfers you to some hypnotic state where you protest every sense of reason inside your head and go with flow of haruki s stream.The only minor gripe I have is with its ending simply because it doesn t seem like an end Murakami leaves it to reader s imagination as to what might have happened to Kafka after everything he went through read Oedipus myth , but when the protagonist is a 15 year old boy and have his whole life ahead one can t simply say and he lived happily ever after I wouldn t have mind reading hundred pages to know about Kafka s future life.Well leaving that apart, I loved this book and also I love how he brings mesmerizing music into his works and treat it with respect and dignity which I feel are the kind of recommendations on his part to his readers because undeniably music has a powerful effect on human lives.And I know after having read two of his novels, I am going to love all his works inspite of their flaws because sometimes such surrender is pure bliss.

  10. says:

    Definitely a page turner Once you start, you just keep on reading Well, why do we stop reading a book I think we can group the reasons into three 1 Natural work, eat, toilet, eyes are tired, other distractions, etc 2 Boredom the book or its part is boring and 3 Need to Digest sometimes I read a phrase or an idea and it is either hard to understand so I read several times or too beautiful that I want it to sink in and I want to remember it forever.For my first Haruki Murakami book, Kafka on the Shore, I could not put it down because there is never a boring part especially the first third and on a lesser degree, the second third I was expecting the last third to be the part where he should give the conclusion tie up the many loose ends All the while, that was the part where I though I should see his utter brilliance He did not He chose to let all ends hang loose.So, when I closed the book, I was groaning in front of my daughter What That s it Ganun na lang ba So, I said, hmmm 3 stars Then I remembered what Doris Lessing wrote in her introduction to The Golden Notebook that if a novel is not open for interpretation, it is a boring novel What makes a story interesting is if it open for interpretation and the interpretations, the better.I am giving this a 5 star But this book is not for everyone If you are the type who asks questions like so what happened to this character why was he like that where did he come from how did this happen what is the connection of this and that Then don t ever lay your hand on this Murakami masterpiece Stick with your John Grisham or Dean Koontz thrillers where everything is explained thoroughly to please your rationale mind Most readers are like you anyway That s why those books sell and they are always there occupying shelves and shelves of your nearby second hand bookstore.Murakami, just like other literary masters, does not write to please He seems not care about public reading preference but he puts in brilliance in his work and it is up to the readers to appreciate his talent.