Late but due entry in Murakami’s World

 via New York Times
via New York Times

Haruki Murakami knows how to choose an attractive book tittles. At least that is true for two of his books that I have read. Norwegian Wood is inspired by The Beatles song by the same name from their famous album Rubber Soul. The sitar by George Harrison and song-writing of John Lennon makes it an unforgettable number and Murakami rides on the same feeling with this book.

In Kafka on the Shore, my second book by Murakami, he tries to flirt with the Franz Kalkaique escapist literature. What is surprising is that both books have a huge western influence in their title and though they are set in Japan, you can feel that it is written from the western point of view. This is the tag that Murakami has lived with in his home country, given by some literary critiques. Apart from these few critiques, he is generally loved around the world.

I discovered Murakami late in my life. He was already darling of readers and featured in every book discussions. Somehow, I skipped the temptation and went on reading other authors.

In July, I got hands on the Norwegian Wood through the monthly book swap that small group of us organize ( along with some writing and some critique, I will write about it someday ).  I immediately thought that it is the time to embrace his book. I discovered later that for many readers as well,Norwegian Wood was their first Murakami book. Needless to say that I enjoyed it and next month I bought ‘Kafka on the Shore’ on my kindle.

Both books have young protagonists and you can imagine them in the streets of Japan, with their good and intense looks but deep thoughts underneath. His characters and setting takes you to different world, a world where he leaves behind the judgement and understanding of the world we live in, the world that is only created for his characters.

Norwegian wood- book cover

Norwegian Wood has a very simple narration and it’s characters are very likable. As we move on, we are introduced to their complex conflicts layered with their difficult teenage years. It’s a very Young-Adult book in its core, the one you will surely enjoy without feeling the pressure of the author’s reputation. I rated Norwegian Wood 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads.

My Favorite Quote from the book “What makes us the most normal, is knowing that we’re not normal.”

Kafka on the Shore- book cover
Kafka on the Shore- book cover

“Kafka on the Shore” is more complex offering. It has a mix of Young-adult with hint of fantasy and magical realism. Music, art, books and philosophy are discussed throughout the book. It features the world’s strongest 15 year old, an old man who can talk to cats, a man who dresses like Johnnie Walker and a man who dresses like Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken. I rated “Kafka on the Shore” 4 out of 5 stars in goodreads.

My Favorite Quote from the book “Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.”

let me know your views about Murakami and his books. If you have any other recommendations of his books , then please share and if you have not read any of his work, well, I have just recommended you two.

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19 thoughts on “Late but due entry in Murakami’s World

  1. I read Norwegian Wood last Summers. And I loved it. That was my first Murakami. And he is brilliant. I plan to pick up IQ84. I have heard that’s great as well. 🙂 Kafka on the shore is certainly there. 🙂

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  2. Murakami spills magic in his words! I haven’t read any of what you have read (Of Course they are on my TBR).
    South of the Border, West of the Sun is something I would recommend. If you care, read my review about it!
    I recently finished The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which incorporates magical realism perfectly into lives of normal people! It was a novel experience for me.
    Also read two short stories collection.

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  3. Thank you for the recommendations Ruma. There are so many Murakamis in my TBR list now. I will check your review as well. Also, can you tell me the tittles of the Short Stories collection and how were your experience with them.

    cheers.

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  4. I started Murakami with 1Q84 back in college, which I loved. Then I read some of his New Yorker short stories. I really enjoy Murakami, but have found that I really have to pick an choose which works I read, because some of them are too abstract for me.

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  5. Tried reading Murakami, and couldn’t even finish the second book. Don’t get the fuss about him at all. I recommend reading Ryu Murakami instead. That is all 😝

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    1. Thank you Raghav for your comment. I know you don;t enjoy his books much and even i had earlier read few pages from his books from bookstore, and thought he was an ordinary author. Gradually when I read his books, I saw value in his writing.

      Also noted about your recommendation. Will try and let you know.
      Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

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