Kafka on the Shore

Kafka on the Shore

4.14 (419,515 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
4.14 (419,515 ratings by Goodreads)

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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.

*Murakami's new book Novelist as a Vocation is available now*

'Wonderful... Magical and outlandish' Daily Mail

'Hypnotic, spellbinding' The Times

'Cool, fluent and addictive' Daily Telegraph
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Product details

  • Paperback | 512 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 30mm | 351g
  • Vintage
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0
  • 9780099458326
  • 53,679

Review Text

Hypnotic, spellbinding
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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 *
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About Haruki Murakami

In 1978, Haruki Murakami was 29 and running a jazz bar in downtown Tokyo. One April day, the impulse to write a novel came to him suddenly while watching a baseball game. That first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, won a new writers' award and was published the following year. More followed, including A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, but it was Norwegian Wood, published in 1987, which turned Murakami from a writer into a phenomenon. His books became bestsellers, were translated into many languages, including English, and the door was thrown wide open to Murakami's unique and addictive fictional universe.

Murakami writes with admirable discipline, producing ten pages a day, after which he runs ten kilometres (he began long-distance running in 1982 and has participated in numerous marathons and races), works on translations, and then reads, listens to records and cooks. His passions colour his non-fiction output, from What I Talk About When I Talk About Running to Absolutely On Music, and they also seep into his novels and short stories, providing quotidian moments in his otherwise freewheeling flights of imaginative inquiry. In works such as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84 and Men Without Women, his distinctive blend of the mysterious and the everyday, of melancholy and humour, continues to enchant readers, ensuring Murakami's place as one of the world's most acclaimed and well-loved writers.
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Rating details

4.14 out of 5 stars
- 419,515 ratings
5 41% (173,484)
4 38% (159,699)
3 15% (63,544)
2 4% (16,497)
1 1% (6,291)

Our customer reviews

'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.show more
by Richard Brandt
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 Grossmannshow more
by Petra Grossmann
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