Haruki Murakami – The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

*The following information applies to the English Vintage softcover edition. (the novel was originally published in Japanese in 1994).*

  Author: Haruki Murakami
Translator: Jay Rubin
Title: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Published: 1997
Publisher: Vintage International
Length: 607 pages
Genre: Science fiction/Fantasy
Why I picked it up: Fan of the author
Rating: 3 stars
Buy:  IndieBound Chapters | Check your local bookstore!

I don’t have a whole lot to say on this novel. What’s notable about this book, for me, is that I finally had a bit of an ‘Aha!’ moment in which I came to a conclusion as to why I enjoy some Murakami novels more than others even if they are all of the same objective ‘goodness’.

First, though, I would like to make my standard comment on the prose. Succinct and straightforward, bare and minimal, saying everything, saying nothing. I feel with Murakamis stories, there is nothing more than words on a page but then there is also so much more than just words on the page…it’s a curious sensation, one that I rarely come across of in other books.

Now, my ‘revelation’ – I think to fully enjoy and understand a Murakami novel you have to identify with the protagonist in an even greater way than you might identify with a protagonist of any other novel. I have read many of Murakami’s novels before coming to this conclusion as an explanation to why I love some of his books and just ‘don’t get’ others. This is the reason why Kafka on the Shore and Sputnik Sweetheart are my favourite Murakami novels and why this novel is not. I still enjoyed the process of reading this book because that prose! But I didn’t truly comprehend and understand it, or experience it in an almost transcendental manner like I did Kafka on the Shore.

An afterthough: When a naked seventeen-year-old girl is shedding tears in the moonlight, anything can happen. It’s true. – May Kasahara, pg 595. I adored May. I would love to read her story…but she isn’t ordinary enough to narrate a Murakami novel, is she?

The Final Summer Recap Post

I always find it odd at how I become worse at blogging (and even reading…I got drowned in work for the last two months of summer, basically the second half) when I’m not in school…I suppose working takes a lot more of my time than school does and blogging is more difficult to do when I’m not already writing other things like assignments and such…anyhow. Only less than a handful more days til back to uni (I cannot wait, I’ve been immensely excited for the past two weeks, I am sick of working all the time and want to go back to my normal schedule and fun learning and all that stuff). So, here are the last few books I’ve read and thought about this summer.

  • Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
    • Finished on: August 4
    • Published: 2003
    • Genre: Dystopian fiction
    • Why I picked it up: Recommended by my boyfriend, his favourite book
    • Rating: 4 stars
    • My Thoughts:
      • I really enjoyed this book; it’s been on my TBR list for a few years but I finally made it a priority because my boyfriend was like “You have to read this book, it’s my favourite, it’s awesome.” 
      • I didn’t really make any notes while reading, I just devoured it. I liked the pacing and the flow and the narration. Dystopian fiction is pretty trendy now and while I don’t normally go for what’s popular, I find that a lot of my favourite books at the moment fall into that category (The Road, Unwind, The Hunger Games). I guess there’s a reason those types of books are popular now! We’re drawn to them in this day…
      • I loved the build up to Jimmy shooting Crake…it was just so intense and panicked and you knew it was going to happen and then bam it did. I was very absorbed in the story by that point.
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 
    • Finished on: August 17
    • Published: 1925
    • Genre: Literary fiction
    • Why I picked it up: Book I should’ve read years ago
    • Rating: 3.5 stars
    • My Thoughts:
      • Not a whole lot to say on this one. I think I’ve just heard so much about it, I was expecting something dazzling and spectacular and then I just found a regular book. I think if I understood the context of the American twenties better then I would understand it a little more. It’s not that I didn’t like it, I did! I just don’t fully grasp why it’s often considered the greatest American novel. I’m glad that it’s considered that. I liked it. I’m just not sure I understand why.
      • Gah. I think I will have to read it again a lot more carefully. I hate that I’m all ‘Um, I liked it but I don’t get the big deal?’ I feel silly and slightly stupid. Bah. 
      • Somehow I have never head that Gatsby gets murdered. I was honestly not expecting that. I went ‘Whoa, whoa, did I just read that correctly?’ So that’s something I guess…
  • Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
    • Finished on: August 26
    • Published: 1922
    • Genre: Spirituality
    • Why I picked it up: On my TBR list
    • Rating: 2 stars
    • My Thoughts:
  • Unwholly by Neal Shusterman
    • Finished on: August 31
    • Genre: Dystopian/teen fiction
    • Why I picked it up: Sequel to one of my favourite books
    • Rating: 4 stars
    • My Thoughts:
      • Pr