The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

  • by Haruki Murakami
  • Narrated by Rupert Degas
  • 26 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Toru Okada is going through a difficult time. He is without a job, his cat has disappeared, and his wife is behaving strangely. Into this unbalanced world comes a variety of curious characters, a young girl sunbathing in a nearby garden; sisters who are very peculiar indeed; an old war veteran with a violent, disturbing story. Okada retreats to a deep well in a nearby house. And the story unfolds.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Verbosely captivating

This is a captivating chronicle of Mr Wind Up Bird - where the main character goes into extremely verbose detail about everything he does - and everything other people have told him.

In real life I would hate this - just get to the point - but in this book you welcome the descriptiveness of everything - even down to him making some spaghetti in chapter 1.

This book is long but it isn't boring. Often when people talk to you they touch on something and you are curious about the things they touch on. The author of this book seems to know you are curious and goes off on tangent after tangent describing and filling in the gaps that you just assume will come up at some point.

The book remains moderately sane for the first half - then gets weirder and weirder - but a good weird that leaves the reader curious to contine.

The audio book reader shows great talent at differentiating the voices of the different characters - it is something often lacking in other audibooks.

I thoroughly recommend this audiobook - give it a go.
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- Anthony

Tends towards incoherence

This is my first stab at Murakami, and I'd heard this was supposed to be his breakthrough, so thought I'd give it a shot. It has an intriguing surreal quality to it, counter-pointed with rather stark, straightforward prose. And, as far as its audio version goes, it is superbly narrated.

The book itself, though, is a very long listen, which in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. However, because the story has no linear plot to speak of, my mind began to wander. There was little to hold on to, no thread to pull me through this roughly 24 hours worth of attention I needed to give to it. So, when I got to the third and final installment and saw that I had yet another eight hours to go, I must admit my heart dropped a bit. But I've slogged on and, upon finishing, felt good simply for having gotten through it. If self-consciously artistic literary fiction that purposely does away with plot and narrative structure is your thing, by all means, take this review as praise. If you're looking for a great yarn to captivate you and keep you desperate to know what will happen next, well, look elsewhere. I won't be rushing out to read another Murakami anytime soon, though will perhaps look at a shorter work if I do.
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- Richard

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-08-2006
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks