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Kafka on the Shore

Kafka on the Shore

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Haruki Murakami

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 512 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 196mm x 34mm | 300g
  • Publication date: 13 August 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099458322
  • ISBN 13: 9780099458326
  • Sales rank: 1,714

Product description

Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. 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. Their parallel odysseys are enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerising dramas. Cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghostlike pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since WWII. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle. Murakami's novel is at once a classic quest, but it is also a bold exploration of mythic and contemporary taboos, of patricide, of mother-love, of sister-love. Above all it is a bewitching and wildly inventive novel from a master stylist.

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Author information

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. He is the author of many novels as well as short stories and non-fiction. His works include Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, After Dark and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. His work has been translated into more than forty languages, and the most recent of his many international honours is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J.M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V.S. Naipaul.

Customer reviews

By Richard Brandt 23 Dec 2010 4

'Kafka on the Shore' follows the intertwined stories of a runaway teenager and an elderly gentleman as they both endure otherworldly experiences bordering on both the alien and the supernatural. In 'Kafka on the Shore', Murakami blurs the lines between the real and the surreal, presenting the reader with a series of mysterious events highly reminiscent of Shinto paranormal beliefs. In an effective prose which alternates between perspectives in accordance with each character's , Murakami offers no explanation of the events which unfold in 'Kafka on the Shore', instead leaving it up to the reader to determine the story's true underlying meaning. Murakmi's 'Kafka on the Shore' is a unique read exploring the relationships between dreams and reality, out of body experiences, abstract existence and reincarnation.

By Petra Grossmann 11 Jan 2010 5

Haruki Murakami's "Kafka on the shore" is a magical book. I picked up the thick book from my dad's book shelf and started reading it and I just could not stop! I read a lot and this happens every now and then that I find a truly wonderful book but when it comes to books with over 500 pages it takes a lot to keep me as interested. I did not have that problem with "Kafka on the shore" and am no longer scared of "brick" books. This book is surreal, not just the story, but Murakami's writing is so beautiful and great it is hard to believe it's human. He is definitely one of the greatest writers of our time, and probably of all time. Reading "Kafka..." started my love story with Murakami. Now I'm collecting and reading all of his books available in English. Read "Kafka..." , see a different world and be absorbed by it. This book sure is something special!

/Petra Grossmann

Review quote

"Wonderful... Magical and outlandish" Daily Mail "A magnificently bewildering achievement... Brilliantly conceived, bold in its surreal scope, sexy and driven by a snappy plot... Exuberant storytelling" Independent on Sunday "Cool, fluent and addictive" Daily Telegraph "Hypnotic, spellbinding" The Times "Addictive... Exhilarating... A pleasure" Evening Standard

Editorial reviews

Addictive... Exhilarating... A pleasure

Back cover copy

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. 'Wonderful... Magical and outlandish' Daily Mail 'A magnificently bewildering achievement... Brilliantly conceived, bold in its surreal scope, sexy and driven by a snappy plot... Exuberant storytelling' Independent on Sunday 'Hypnotic, spellbinding' The Times 'Cool, fluent and addictive' Daily Telegraph