Reviews and Reception



“Murakami’s latest, ”Kafka on the Shore,” is no exception, although it is a departure for this Japanese novelist in other ways. Most of his protagonists have been men in their 30’s, easygoing solitary types with spotty romantic histories and a taste for jazz, whiskey and American films. This time, Murakami’s hero, a runaway boy calling himself Kafka Tamura, is only 15. Kafka is fleeing his father, a man whose shadowy malevolence takes the form of an Oedipal prophecy: Kafka, he insists, will kill his father and sleep with his mother and his older sister, both of whom vanished when the boy was 4.”  Review by Laura Miller, Crossing Over, The New York Times

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People :


“ Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s latest offering, Kafka on the Shore, is vast, complex, odd, funny and strangely peaceful: business as usual, but more impressive business than some recent books. It describes two parallel odysseys across space and time (literally), linked by a strange, ambiguous pop tune written by one of the book’s mysterious characters. Kafka Tamura, a 15-year-old runaway, struggles to dodge an Oedipal fate; simultaneously, Nagata, an illiterate old man who can talk to cats, searches for an all-powerful stone. The two stories link neatly and yet Murakami makes sure we are never entirely confident in their connection..” —Max Winter



“This was definitely an interesting read. I feel like I will have to read it again for everything to fully make sense, but I was surprised by how easy this book was to follow. I also loved the writing style! I will definitely be giving more books by Haruki Murakami ago in the future. —Jesse



“Kafka on the Shore is a metaphor. It follows no rules, it doesn’t adhere to reason, and applicability is not an issue. It fills you up, it tears you down. A fugue of emotions are present, you can’t seem to figure out which of the many different realizations flooding you is most important. Waves roll up again and again on the beach of your consciousness and at first you resist, but after a while you understand that your struggle is pointless, so you give in. You read, you feel, you try to understand, you try to make sense. And you know what? You love it.”—Jr Bacdayan



“It’s one of the most engaging and magical pieces of literature I’ve read. Reality is unclear. The book presses the boundaries of what exists around the characters versus what exists in their minds. Powerful forces guide the characters–some known, some unknown.”—Kelly



“Murakami has become a firm favourite of mine for his wonderful blend of the metaphysical and magical realism with ordinary life and people.Truly remarkable. Haruki Murakami is a rare author.”—Dana

The New Canon :


“Welcome to the murky world of Murakami.  Fifty years
ago, if you had asked literary critics to forecast the future
course of the novel, they probably would have predicted
a great awakening of wordplay and experimentation with
language. But they would have been wrong.” —Ted Gioia

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Lu Yao ’19

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