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Kafka on the Shore
by Haruki Murakami




Overview -
With Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami gives us a novel every bit as ambitious and expansive as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which has been acclaimed both here and around the world for its uncommon ambition and achievement, and whose still-growing popularity suggests that it will be read and admired for decades to come.

This magnificent new novel has a similarly extraordinary scope and the same capacity to amaze, entertain, and bewitch the reader. A tour de force of metaphysical reality, it 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.

Extravagant in its accomplishment, Kafka on the Shore displays one of the world’s truly great storytellers at the height of his powers.

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Overview

With Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami gives us a novel every bit as ambitious and expansive as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which has been acclaimed both here and around the world for its uncommon ambition and achievement, and whose still-growing popularity suggests that it will be read and admired for decades to come.

This magnificent new novel has a similarly extraordinary scope and the same capacity to amaze, entertain, and bewitch the reader. A tour de force of metaphysical reality, it 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.

Extravagant in its accomplishment, Kafka on the Shore displays one of the world’s truly great storytellers at the height of his powers.

 

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400079278
  • ISBN-10: 1400079276
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • Publish Date: January 2006
  • Page Count: 467
  • Reading Level: Ages 13-17
  • Dimensions: 8.04 x 5.38 x 1.08 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.78 pounds

Series: Vintage International

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Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Cats are intelligent, if not outright magical creatures. Their attitudes, their curiosity, the uncannily human pathos in their meows all let us know there is something going on beneath the surface. Japanese author Haruki Murakami is aware of this, and so he took advantage of cats’ magic in Kafka on the Shore. In the story, Mr. Nakata, one of two central characters, has the ability to speak to cats and makes a living searching for lost felines. We see Mr. Nakata use his abilities in a few hilarious scenes before he loses his ability to speak to cats, but as the story unfolds, cats become a central part in unlocking the mysteries that send Mr. Nakata on a journey across Japan. Murakami uses the whimsical magic of cats to unfold grand metaphysical mysteries.

—Eric, Editorial Intern

 

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