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Review – The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle March 23, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 3.5 stars, Foreign, Literature.
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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

by Haruki Murakami

In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat.  Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo.  As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria.

I found the pace of this book unevenly paced. Thus, it was quite unsettling. I alternately enjoyed it then disliked it. There were sporadic bits of history lessons inserted into it which I didn’t find particularly find interesting as it was rather dryly put.

Even when there weren’t history lessons being reiterated, there were periods of characters droning on about seemingly pointless matters. I couldn’t see what their monologues had to do with the story. I got rather impatient with the story and I had to put it down several times and read other books in between.

It was still very well written though. I did enjoy the bizarre twists and turns that is the classic Murakami signature. I just think he got a bit carried away in spots.

Finally, the climax of the book didn’t seem connected to the rest of the book. The plot seemed a bit abstract and I liked things to be a bit more linear.

So maybe this was a bit too surrealistic for me in the end. Either way, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did his other books.

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