‘Kafka on the Shore’

MURAKAMI, Haruki. Kafka on the Shore. [Original title: Umibe no Kafuka.]

‘The personal and always parallel odysseys of two characters meet in a rich, intriguing and magnificent tragicomedy with the agile pace, the poetical delicacy and the narrative skills of Murakami.’

When I can't read the original, I tend to choose the Catalan translation

When I can’t read the original, I tend to choose the Catalan translation

These two characters are a quite introverted 15-year-old student and an old man with some retardation who speaks with cats. Both fly far away from home for different reasons to take complementary paths without knowing it.

Some years ago I read Sputnik Sweetheart, by the same author. That novel was highly introspective and mixed dreams and reality. It also had some erotic moments. Kafka on the Shore follows its footsteps, with more intensity, nonetheless, and adding violence to it.

The first chapters set out some doubts and draw the attention of the reader. As the story develops, two and two are put together, not without raising new questions. Should you be hoping for a conclusion where every detail is explained so that you can sleep in peace, this is not your book; it might feel like a waste of time on a surreal story interlarded with sex and violence.

As for myself, I’m going to keep enjoying Murakami’s work.


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