Kafka on the Shore is a strange book, even by Murakami standards. This is my second reading but sadly I don’t remember what I thought about it the fist time I read it 12 years ago because back then I didn’t take notes or write reviews. All I know is that I thought it was a four-star book.
Haruki Murakami has been one of my favorite writers ever since I “discovered” him almost 17 years ago. I read a review of The Elephant Vanishes in a literary magazine and immediately knew I had to read his books. I didn’t find any at the local bookstores but the library of the international school where I worked at the time had one of his novels, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. It was love at first read and I couldn’t wait to read the rest of his novels.
For the past 17 years, I have bought every single Murakami novel or short story collection as soon as it was published and I have reread many of them two or three (or even four) times. Kafka on the Shore is one of the few I have only read once. Until now.
Kafka Tamura is almost 15 years old and carries the weight of a terrible curse. He doesn’t get along with his abusive father and his mother abandoned them when Kafka was four, taking his older sister with her. One day Kafka decides to run away. He takes a bus out of the city, leaving everything behind and hoping to outrun his curse.
Full review here.