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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami


Another off the tbr list.

Another author and book recommended by Srinivas, the other author of the book.

One of its kind I've read yet. A new scope of genre in books, I've never ventured into.

In short, everything about the book is magnificent. Its black and red cover. The name of the author - Haruki Murakami. Especially, I like his name. The genre - Magical Realism.

After reading this book, I think every reader must try and read a book of this genre at least once. There won't be any person who wouldn't like this sort of books. If not for its story, its narration, or maybe the magic thing about it might did the trick.

Overall, it was fresh and a one of its kind read...

Blurb (from the jacket):
Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy.

The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down.

As their parallel odysseys unravel, cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghost-like pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since World War II. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle - one of many which combine to create an elegant and dreamlike masterpiece.

Literary Awards:
World Fantasy Award for Best Novel (2006)
Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Nominee for Longlist (2006)
PEN Translation Prize (2006)
Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis Nominee for Preis der Jugendjury (2005)
Tähtifantasia Award (2010)

Our take on the book:
Everything about the story is so absurd. But not once did I think, How absurd, can anything like this happen? Instead, I started wondering, If this had really happened/is really happening?

That is the power of the book. After reading the book, I was wondering, How can someone write so absurd a book, get it translated and the publishers have even ventured to publish it! I can't stop wondering about that. Not only that, throughout this book and after, the author had left me in a world of wonderment.

I had always asked Srinivas, who read various Magical Realism books, what exactly Magical Realism meant. He gave various definitions. Every time I asked that question, his answer was different. They sounded unreliable. I looked on the internet for the definition. I couldn't quite understand what it meant. After all my trials, I came to an conclusion. Magical Realism something is undefinable. If tried to define, it will confuse you further. You will understand the exact meaning of it only if you read one. There is no better definition for it than to reading a book of that sort.

I also understood one more thing from this book. If you write something absurd and are able to make the reader believe in it, you can write Magical Realism based novel. By absurd, I mean - Talking to cats, fishes raining from the sky, talking to a stone, leeches raining from the sky and there are no constraints to the list.

There were parts of the book very disgustful - like when the protagonist haves sex with someone who believes in theory to be his mother. But it the author's narration that makes it not sound so disgusting. Of course, it is disgusting to a very great extent, but the author had that persuasive power of convincing the reader that what the protagonist has done is not as disgustful as it seems. There is a higher purpose to it.

Overall, I am pretty moved by the book and am in neck-deep in love with this kind of narration. Hoping to read more of his books in future!!



Title: Kafka on the Shore

Author: Haruki Murakami

ISBN (edition I've read): 9780099568326


Read between: 14-02-2014 to 22-02-2014

Publishers: Random House Publishers

Pages: 505

The best deal of this book could be found here:  

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