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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.
I really enjoyed one small part of this book, a letter written by May delineating serf like lives; working at jobs which leave us to exhausted to use our free time for much more... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Campanile
While well written, I found this book disjointed with no cohesive theme that I could distinguish. It seems full of subplots that sort of come together, some of which are quite... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Cynthia M. Bertozzi
A very (very) long, drawn out tale that winds through time, Tokyo, and in and out of reality (which Murakami tends to remind us of, frequently). Read morePublished 22 days ago by Elspeth