Monday, 14 March 2011
The Wind-up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami
I listened to the Naxos Audiobook version read by Rupert Degas. Great job on the various characters. I had no trouble telling when characters changed. At 26 hours, this is a very long story, though it seemed as though it was several novellas all linked together by common elements of flow and water.
Mr. Murakami has put together a most unlikely group of characters. Right from the first, I didn't like Kumiko's brother , Noboru Wataya. He didn't seem to have any human qualities. More a logic machine than something alive. May Kasahara was a gem. She was that precocious teen that had a question about everything and wanted a true answer. I looked forward to her appearance in the story. I think that my favourite character was Lieutenant Mamiya. When he told a story, I wanted to pull over to the side of the road and just listen. I didn't want to have to pay attention to the traffic; I just wanted to listen. His stories were fascinating and quite likely could have been true.
It was interesting that while Toru was trying to hang onto his marriage, all sorts of other females kept intruding into his life. May, the unusual physic sisters Malta and Creta and the mysterious Nutmeg. With no attempt at enticing them, all these women seemed to flock toward him. Why?
All in all, I found this an unusual book. It kept coming back to 'flow'. That un-resolved issues in Toru's life had interrupted his 'flow' and that until he corrected them, his life would not be settled. I would have had a hard time reading a paper version of this book. It wasn't something I could listen to in huge chunks of time, but rather for shorter periods, with lots of time to digest what had happened in the various chapters. If you have tried to read the book and found it hard to stick with, give the audio book a try in smaller bits. It worked for me.
Author Haruki Murakami's website
Winner of the 1995 Yomiuri Literary Prize
Additional Reviews of this book can be found at the following sites:
Bookcover image from Naxos AudioBook
Read, Remember, Recommend Fiction Challenge hosted by Rachelle of Bibliobabe.com. Visit Bibliobabe.com to enter her free monthly book draw.