“That’s how stories happen — with a turning point, an unexpected twist. There’s only one kind of happiness, but misfortune comes in all shapes and sizes. It’s like Tolstoy said. Happiness is an allegory, unhappiness a story.”
I was bored with predictable stories and happy endings, it was then that a friend recommended me, Murakami. Reading Murakami for the first time, I had no clue which book to go first for. And it was for the best as I believe, preconceived notions often ruin the suspense for us. So I randomly started Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami.
With absolutely no expectations I dived into the story, and before I knew it I was hooked. I don’t know whether it was the intriguing writing style, the catchy characters, or the haphazard situations they were put into.
I like to imagine all the characters as Puppets and Murakami, a Puppet Master who whimsically controls his characters. A neatly woven plot surrounding our two leads Kafka and Nakata.
With their story going back and forth, it becomes a little difficult to keep pace with the rush of things happening to the characters, and just when you think you know what’s ahead, there comes a twist! Blowing your mind off any potential future you predicted for the character.
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Murakami has a strange style of introducing unreal fantasies to the story which makes our minds go berserk. It’s oddly satisfying to see how the paths of these two characters, Kafka and Nakata cross and how vaguely confusing the story becomes.
As it progresses you wait for clarity which never arrives. The story ends leaving you spellbound and numb.
The striking fact is I couldn’t draw a conclusion from the ending, maybe a one-time read isn’t enough. Then again I think Murakami’s stories are the ones that don’t necessarily aim for an ending.
There’s nothing the story is trying to achieve, only the rush of emotions that carries you through the journey. For someone who is just starting out, Murakami’s work might be inarticulate but it surely is an enthralling experience in itself!
I rate Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Also, do let me know your take of the book in the comments below!
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