“Is it possible, in the final analysis, for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of another?We can invest enormous time and energy in serious efforts to know another person, but in the end, how close can we come to that person’s essence? We convince ourselves that we know the other person well, but do we really know anything important about anyone?
When Noru Okada finds that his cat is missing he is not left one bit disturbed. On the other hand his wife is getting restless every single minute because of it. And those sexually explicit calls he gets from a woman when he is alone. And is his wife restless only because of the cat or something?
Writing style: Murakami uses a very strange mix of layering and mystical realism to narrate his tales. There is never one theme continuing in the book, all at once two or three stories run in parallel lines. They of course converge or have a common idea which the reader has to find or understand.
More or less the narrative contains many symbols or metaphors either in the form of dreams, meta-physical elements or even magic. They denote the state of mind of the characters their stories and also at times the connect they hold with each other
Reading: As a reader I believe it is very important to do some background reading on Murakami, mystical realism and surrealism. In this way your overall ease with his style of narration and understanding will be hugely enhanced. At times you will feel lost and may have to re-read pages but the end of it all the reading experience that you will gain will be very fulfiling.
Tip of the day! Read him during the day because most of us feel that the book takes over your mind at night. Very dark dingy narratives often intercepted by long gruesome details on war crimes.
Overall rating: 4.75/5 (It has been entered as one of my all time favourite novels)
Connecting it with Write Tribe. The day four sees us writing a Book review.
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I’m yet to read any of Murakami’s works. This is definitely on my ‘to’ list. Thanks for the tip! 🙂
Aditi please make it like a must read book, now!!!
Looks like my kind of a book…I might check this too 🙂 Thanks for the round up, Richa
You do and tell me how you found it 🙂
Sounds interesting. Good job on the review! ♥
Thank you sooo much Kathy <3
Nice short -crisp review 🙂
Thanks Ananya 🙂
I’ve heard this is a good book but I have been sceptical because I read a book of short stories by Murakami and somehow, got lost along the way for most stories! I kept wondering if things maybe got lost in translation. When I’m done with the 70-odd books waiting to be read on my bookshelf, I might pick this one up
Well perhaps that was one bad egg in the basket 😀 try this one, it is very good 🙂
I know someone whom I can definitely gift this one.
I haven’t read a book for long 🙁
Well then first gift it to yourself 🙂
I loved this book and your review on it is so so true and apt… He is lyrical and poetic…Whatever he writes, makes perfect sense 😛
Beyond perfection ishita! And makes you wonder why we didn’t think all of that 😀
Very interesting comment — to read it during the day as it will play mind games at night. I’ll have to make a note of that. Thank you
A lot of people have noted especially this point 😀
I have not read anything by that author. I like your review on it , and might have to check it out:-)
I hope you like it Eli 🙂
Such off the beat topics either get very engrossing or leave the reader thoroughly confused. A dark story related to a cat…sounds like a try.
Amen to that Shaivi, it is true the extremities only exist in such cases 🙂
Never explored this genre and now you have me curious! Good job on the review. I liked the cover photo of the wind-up bird. What a clever idea 😀
Yes it is a very clever idea and shailaja when you would read the book you would be amazed at the choice of title too 🙂
Your review is tempting me to read the book. I am sure, this is go to my goodreads “to be read” column right now.
I hope you like it too 🙂
I am not sure I can read it at all then. I was quite enthusiastic about this but reading your review I have a feeling that it is too intense for sleep. Unless I am agreeing to roam around sleep deprived or I have some real free days, I am going to keep it aside for a while and then see if I can brave it.
Yes sleepless nights are rest assured in this 😀
Well reviewed. I haven’t read his books yet because of the same reason you gave for reading it during daytime. Since I hope to survive Anna Karenina… I will try.reading one his books as well.
Do try it and yes anna karenina is another epic 😀
Murakami sweeps you off your feet and he changes something within you…. I love his works!
That is true Bhavya 🙂 he does change you for better or for worse don’t know 🙂
Have a heard a lot about this author. would definitely try to read it. But now i have my hands full with hunger games
Oh hunger games is also interesting I need to pick it too!
I haven’t read any of Haruki Murakami’s work. Your review is pushing me to move his books ahead in my wishlist! 🙂
If you have never tried then I would suggest start with Sputnik sweetheart 🙂
This is quite new to me, this genre , I mean. Here it goes to my ‘ to read’ list. Thanks for the intro, dear 🙂
Sreeja do read and tell me how you find it 🙂
I like the way you have presented the review Richa. I have one major handicap when it comes to reading. I just cannot get myself to read ones that have elements of crime or any form of extreme sadness in them. I do know I am missing a lot of great writing because of that. But sadly, it takes days for me to get over such books and so I keep away from them 🙁
Yes you are Aarthy and believe me it is only a mental block. I know because at one time I too had it 🙂
I haven’t read any of Murakami’s work but the mystery of the missing cat accompanied by those phone calls makes an interesting opening.
It is very very very interesting 😀
Have’nt read Murakami’s work. Your review has aroused interest in the book.
Purpose solved 🙂
I have not read any of his books, but I follow his page on FB and his quotes do interest me.. So this should go in the reading list 🙂
If you enjoy his quotes then believe me you would love his books 🙂
Never read Haruki Murakami.. In fact I’ve barely read any Japanese author at all. I do love the idea of parallel stories converging at some point. I am a little apprehensive about the dark genre but looks like the book is worth a try. Thanks Richa for this one.
Believe me if you can survive one book you might become a fan or something 😀
Wow! Sounds like it’ll need a little digesting!
Well a lot more than little 😀
Sounds interesting, but more than that is “Tip of the day part”. (Y)
haha well that is a serious tip of the day 😀
Looks really interesting! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for enjoying it Marya 🙂
Great review! This looks super interesting!
Well trust me it is 🙂
You tell us that is dark and preferably read during the day and then you go ahead and give it 4.75! I have never attempted to read books like these. I guess I might as well start with this book! 🙂
haha well that is a paradox 😀 but believe me it will blow you away!
I recently read a very interesting book by a Malaysian novelist, Tan Twan Eng and the book ‘s title is The Garden Of Evening Mists. It deals with the story of a Japanese prisoner during World war II. You might find it interesting. Loved your review, will check out the book, only during the day as I am scared of reading dark books.
Well I am not very much inclined towards books centered around wars, somehow. Even this one spooked me a bit 😀 but will surely pick it once 🙂
Great review. But definitely not my type of book.
Great review. But definitely not my type of book.
Well I can understand but then you must try it at least once 🙂
This is a really great review! Well done 🙂
Thanks Sophie 🙂
I’ve enjoyed Murakami immensely.. Will pick this book up next month 🙂
Let me know how you find it 🙂
Love the clean and neatly arranged but sweet review, Richa Singh. Beautifully written:)
I remember reading this book quite a few years back. In fact, it was my first Murakami. You are right about some background reading , Richa. I had absolutely no idea about his style of writing then and was quite taken aback at first. And yes, some parts were really disturbing. Loved your review. Do share more!
I plan to read one of his books soon and your review kinda tells me it should be sooner than the “soon” I had on mind 🙂 Right now reading an African author for the first time…
Short and sweet… although I’ve never read this Murakami, I usually read Ryu Murakami, more and more positive reviews of his books is making me slowly move towards picking up his first book.