Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. That being said, I think it's a book you really love or really...don't love (no, Amanda, not like "Running with Scissors"). I tend to get somewhat fascinated with writing and stories that weave you in and out of reality - teetering, always, on the possible, but being just ridiculous or obscure enough to remind you that it's not real. If you don't find yourself of the same mind, you probably will want to skip this novel. But if you have read and enjoyed either "One Hundred Years of Solitude" or "Love in the Time of Cholera", you may just enjoy this book (different author but same kind of writing style). Though I know that dad didn't enjoy either of those, I still recommend this book to you (dad).
The book follows the experiences of Toru Okada, a (recently) former lawyer who stays at home while his magazine editor wife supports the two of them. Then his "journey" begins with a search for the family cat and this is when a whole new world of characters and experiences unfolds. As characters enter his life, they pull him into their world - literally. He finds himself within shifting interior landscapes, and through multiple eyes, and has an almost dreamlike search for identity in the midst of chaos as it is presented.
There are quite a few bizarre events that unfold that leaves you somehow accepting each new twist even though some are completely implausible. And what I think dad might find especially interesting is the way the book is able to contrast the Japanese military past with the present state of Japan. All in all, I think a line from the book sums it up the best (took me a while to find this quote, but I knew it was in there!): "There's a kind of gap between what I think is real and what's really real."
And there you go.


Amanda said...

That quote kind of sums up my feelings on things...I'll definitely check this one out!

Dave said...

I really liked it. Gives an interesting view of life, with a shadow existance either being the "real" world or at least a force that controls the world we know. He obviously was going for that feeling when he wrote "Wild Sheep Chase" but pulled it all together in this book. Not sure who else would like this other than Amanda and me.