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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.
Murakami writes with great detail, imagination and humor.
In fact, I have decided that reading Murakami is often like having really, really good sex for a very, very long time, without orgasm.
Most novels are carefully plotted out and the reader simply tags along with the author's characters as the story unfolds.
Its rare that I am left as disappointed with a book as I was with The Wind up Bird Chronicles. All those glowing reviews, how could I go wrong? Read morePublished 13 hours ago by Kenny of LA
Reading any Murakami is like stepping into a dream. This book is one of my favorites.Published 1 day ago by Somara C. Zwick
It takes time for the map to unfold, but it's a worthwhile one, with its end-of-WW II history in Manchuria, its Greek chorus, and its narrator to move from a flat, passive schlump... Read morePublished 1 day ago by C. Adelman
The book could use some editing - there is a section on Japanese history that seems an abrubt insert and after which you feel Murakami is simply dragging the story out to fill... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Nicole
I was reading my way through all of Murakami's books. After finishing this one though, I needed a long break. I hated the protagonist, Toru. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Burley
One of the best modern literature books I have rad. Worthy of a Nobel Prize.Published 11 days ago by B
I tried to like it. The story took off and I was hooked for awhile, but then it flagged and became actually boring. Read morePublished 14 days ago by samwan
Good book. A lot of interesting characters. On my list for a second reading.Published 16 days ago by Richard B.