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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.
It always feels wrong, or maybe simply inadequate, for a relative layman like me to review a book that's more worthy of an anthology of PhD authored research papers. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Suyo
Beautiful images but I kept wondering what's really happening. It was also maddening at times, characters all behaving in secret mysterious ways. Even so it was a enjoyable read.Published 2 days ago by G. Cothalis
I have had a love/hate relationship with this book from the beginning. Strangely I could not stop reading it. But I could not give it more than 3 stars.Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
Let me give you some elements of the beginning of the book :
The main character is a semi-idle unemployed man, married. Read more
Murakami is one of my favorite writers for good reason. I currently have ALL his translated English works in my collection. I've read them each at least four times. Great buy. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Osiris
It is very hard to rate this book and I see the reasons why everyone gave it 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 stars.
On many levels the book is brilliant. Read more
Murakami has a unique way of mixing reality, dreams, and memories in an inception-like journey that leaves the mind wandering into the inner self after each reading. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Vera S.
I'm a fan of Murakami and this is my favorite of his works. It is a beautiful story, gritty at times and haunting. This one stays with me.Published 12 days ago by Nicole
Although all the books I have read by this novelist (5 to date) have been translations, (from Japanese) there is a definitive author's voice that courses through his literature. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Sergiu Pobereznic (author)