Book #14 Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami

Me: I have a problem with hari-kari Haruki Murakami.
Friend: Which is?
Me: Well, it’s the males in his stories. Like the main character in Norwegian Wood basically gets it on with every girl in the book, even the ones who are just minor characters.
Friend: Well, he is Japanese. We should just be thankful he’s not involved with cartoons.

Seeing as the main character’s father prophesies that his son will sleep with his mother and sister, I knew that Kafka On The Shore wasn’t going to be much different from the other Murakami’s novels I’ve read. There’s something about his stories that always keep me compelled to keep reading. Yet, I’m never very positive about the book once I’m finished. His characters are very real, but they’re not easy to relate to. So while I’m incredibly curious as to what they’re going to do next and what is going to happen, it never goes to the next level of actually caring about them personally. I was about to give an example from this work when I realized that the plot is so convoluted that there is no way that I could make my point without typing a chapter myself.

A couple of years ago I was out with a boy for the first time, and he was telling me about a short story written by Murakami that he had recently read. I responded with, “Oh, that reminds me of an episode of South Park!” Yes, aren’t I knocking them dead with my literary repotire? To add to the horror, it wasn’t just any episode of South Park, it was the one featuring the UNDERWEAR GNOMES!

At the time I thought, “Way to impress the fellows, Laura!” However, the more of Murakami’s work I read the more that mentioning underwear gnomes seems like a much better thing for me to bring up to his more loving readers than any of my real opinions. I’m much safer that way.





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