Thursday, April 14, 2016
In Kafka On The Shore, a fifteen year old boy runs away from home, changes his surname to Kafka, and ends up in a distant town. At the same time, an old man, who was greatly changed by a bizarre occurrence when he was a child, lives a simple life in the same town from which Kafka fled. He is compelled by a spirit to murder, then make his way to the same town where Kafka fled. They both encounter helpful people, other spirits, and Kafka gains a glimpse into another plane of existence. As the story moves along, there are philosophical discussions about life, books, and music. Oh, and since Kafka was cursed with a Oedipal prophecy, there's sex.
This book has been evaluated as being a good Murakami tale, but not his best. Perhaps I've reached critical mass from reading his novels, but I think I got closer to understanding what the author is working through from his many visits to these multi-dimensional tales than from any of his other stories. It's the kind of book where I'm kicking myself for not taking notes as I was reading.
If you like Murakami or similar authors who intertwine multiple lives, time frames and spiritual dimensions, then this one is worth your time.