Friday, July 23, 2010

Review of Kafka on the Shore

So this was a crazy book, but also really really great. I've been wanting to read Murakami for a long time, but was always a bit intimidated for some reason. Then last year my Dad asked me to buy him some books before going on a 3 week trip to Europe, so I picked this one for him. He couldn't stop talking about it upon his return, so I suggested it for my book club this past spring. Unfortunately, only three of us read it, so not everyone could participate in the conversation, and there was so much to talk about!

I'm not going to even try to recap the story because it's so full of wackiness, mystical realism, travel into other worlds and slugs falling from the sky that it would a) take too long and b) take away from the story if I tried to explain. And really, what I think this book was about was just the opposite of trying to tell a story in a linear fashion. It was about relationships, and forgiveness, and patience, and finding out who you are, and being ok with not knowing who you are, or where you come from. It was about accepting that we all have parts of ourselves that are good and that are evil, and that sometimes you have to just believe that the universe will lead you in the right direction, even if you don't know exactly where you're going. It was about accepting that sometimes you need to toss your maps and compasses and be willing to get lost in the woods, because you don't know what you will find - it may be scary, but chances are you will learn something from it. And it was about love and death, and how they both open up to new worlds, although they both can cause pain.

This is the kind of book that when you've read the last word on the last page you think, "What I really should do is get a cup of tea and start all over again, because there is likely to be so much that I missed the first time around."



meezly said...

nice to see you posting again, Kate.

if you loved Kafka, I highly recommend The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (

Kate W. Ladell said...

Thanks, Meezly. I'll check it out.