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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.
When it comes to cars, we in the west have come to expect excellence from Japan, but since there are relatively few non-Western novelists of note, I think there's been a bit of... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Dave Pinsen
This is my first Murakami novel, and it's easily the best book I've read in a long time. It's hard to put into a single category- perhaps you could call it a supernatural mystery... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Mike Puckett
A bit slow but worth the read. A very different novel that spends a lot of time developing the characters, but worth it!Published 9 days ago by AndreaV
Multi-layered, multi-dimensional, with characters appearing and disappearing only yo appear again, this work is best read (or listened to) in larger pieces rather than smaller. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Vance W. Torbert