Musings

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

I did a thing, and by a thing I mean I read a book, and by I read a book I mean I totally finished reading a book for my own self … well kinda.  Honestly I read it because of the new segment I wanted to add to our Bibliomancy episodes, for each Bibliomancy episode that comes out I will be doing a related book review later in the week.

Title: Kafka on the Shore
Author: Haruki Murakami
Translator: Philip Gabriel
Publisher: Vintage
Page #: 467
Genre: Literary Fiction/Magical Realism

So, it is Monday and those of you who follow my blog know I usually post some sort of rambling thing about my life.  However, because last weeks Bibliomancy for Beginners Episode was postponed I had to shift around the days in which I am posting things.

This post was supposed to be up on Friday but I posted the Bibliomancy Episode on Friday which was supposed to be up last Wednesday but it didn’t air until Thursday so everything is messed up.  However, after this post, things should get back to normal.

I chose to read this book alongside One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest because I knew that they both had a similar feel to them while reading.  They are not books you can sit and eat up like popcorn, they require time and some extra brain power.  You are working through the stories slowly as things build over time until it reaches an apex at the end.

I feel for this book similarly to how I feel for Cuckoo’s Nest, that it is a masterwork.  I understand now why this book is considered a modern classic much like Cuckoo’s Nest.  It is a book that deals with human issues in a way that is just slightly in a realm outside of reality.

The characters in this novel are so incredibly likable despite being riddled with flaws that at some points you aren’t sure you can forgive them for, and yet for the most part you still can.  Everyone in this novel is struggling to find themselves, to find their purpose, they are running away from something, whether it is an external or internal crises.  There are displays of incredible kindness as well as scenes filled with an eerie malice.  Despite being quite paradoxical it flowed seamlessly throughout.

There were moments in the writing where I felt it was incredibly beautiful and I’m not sure whether to credit the author or the translator for this.  However, in certain sections where the boy called Crow begins to speak the writing shifts suddenly into second person.  I’m not sure whether that was meant to signify the reader being one with Kafka or if the boy called Crow was addressing not only Kafka but the reader as well.  It was jarring and pulled me out of the story a little bit.

Other than that it was a complete delight.  I loved nearly every second of it.  If you want to read some really deep literary fiction that is a great look into human lives, perhaps specifically Japanese lives, or if like me you want to read more books written in foreign languages for a different culture I would highly recommend this book.  There is some adult content as talk of penises and sex does come up at various points in the novel and I would also like to give a trigger warning that there is at least one rape scene in this text.

If you missed our video discussion of the counter part to this book for me please check it out here.

Yesterday on the blog I posted my usual Sunday Spam, which is a playlist of Koran Pop Music (it was the super cute edition) check that out if you want to experience some new music.

Tomorrow night the Bibliomancers will be back to discuss Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens which you can watch live here or you can wait for me to post the vod of it on Wednesday.

I hope you guys had a fabulous weekend and are looking forward to the week to come.

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