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Haruki Murakami is a master of subtly disturbing prose. Mundane events throb with menace, while the bizarre is accepted without comment. Meaning always seems to be just out of reach, for the reader as well as for the characters, yet one is drawn inexorably into a mystery that may have no solution. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is an extended meditation on themes that appear throughout Murakami's earlier work. The tropes of popular culture, movies, music, detective stories, combine to create a work that explores both the surface and the hidden depths of Japanese society at the end of the 20th century.
If it were possible to isolate one theme in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, that theme would be responsibility. The atrocities committed by the Japanese army in China keep rising to the surface like a repressed memory, and Toru Okada himself is compelled by events to take responsibility for his actions and struggle with his essentially passive nature. If Toru is supposed to be a Japanese Everyman, steeped as he is in Western popular culture and ignorant of the secret history of his own nation, this novel paints a bleak picture. Like the winding up of the titular bird, Murakami slowly twists the gossamer threads of his story into something of considerable weight. --Simon Leake --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A bulky volume (860 pages), about the 30-year-old Toru Okada who goes in search of his wife Kumiko that suddenly left him. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Marc L
So slooowwww. I can honestly say I have no idea what all the hype about this book is about. It was awful.Published 8 days ago by H. Latta
Have only read about 40 pages, so don't have all the answers. i like it a lot!Published 13 days ago by Pod Horetz
As many other reviewers have pointed out, this book created an amazing set of characters and subplots that tantalized. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Michael J Driscoll
Read for book club. This novel has very little plot and seems disinterested in answering any of the questions it presents throughout. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Lionheart
Wonderfully written, a complex novel, with many levels of analysis.Published 1 month ago by Patricia E. Erickson
I've heard so many great things about Murakami. In the end, nothing makes sense or is tied together. It's like someone describing their boring dreams to you.Published 1 month ago by Masking Tape