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.
©2006 Haruki Murakami (P)2006 Naxos AudioBooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Martin on 04-05-09

A very different listen

It is not really like anything I have listened to or heard before, you are not sure what is meant to be reality or not, as you listen you have absolutely no idea at all where the story is going and what will be in the next chapter. That sounds like something bad but this is the genius of the book, you will be wondering all the way through how and if all of the plot lines and characters are going to tie up. The story blends reality and dream together with a bit of supernatural. As others have said the narration was extrordinary. A very enjoyable experience, but be prepared for something quite different to what you may be used to in terms of how you are used to thinking a story "should" go. Not a fast paced story, requires time and patience but it is a very rewarding experience.

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21 of 21 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Glawsmole on 01-05-10

Long but never boring

This is the second of Murakami's novels I've listened to and I enjoyed this one very nearly as much as Kafka on the Shore. Again this is a very fine novel; mystical, poetic, brutal, uplifting. The author seems to have an uncanny knack of being able to tell a great story without having much of a story to tell. If you boil down the actual events the book, nothing much happens, but there is this tremendous sense that there is an order to the world. When something disturbs that order, Murakami's protagonists have to embark on an odyssey before they can get back where they belong with the various elements of their world order in their rightful places.

I suspect this is a big thick book if you see it in a bookshop, yet not a word seems out of place or superfluous.

Vast sections of the book are told in side-stories of minor characters and yet everything that is told has its place and pulls the reader along with it. It's complicated without being convoluted.

I never once felt bored in the 20 hours of listening and that must be a difficult thing for a writer of this type of work to achieve.

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Shelley on 14-08-07

Bizarre

Jumping into a dark well to think to the point of starvation, characters that resemble caricatures, seem to appear and disappear with names such as Crete and Malta, a cat that comes back with a different tail... all this makes this book odd and amazing. This is my second book by this author and I remain intrigued by his storytelling and style. My issue is only with the violence, where the author dwells on wartime atrocities, taking care to describe torture techniques a bit too graphically for my taste. The audio is effective and keep you going until the end.

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21 of 21 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 21-12-09

Wonderful

Bold. Funny. Horrific. Ethereal. And Fantastic in all senses of the word. Echoes of Dostoevsky, Kafka, Beckett. There are many, many memorable characters and scenes; but Murakami creates through these only the major pieces of a larger puzzle. He appears to be drawing parallels between two kinds of relationships (a) the interactions (loving, mundane, barbaric, kind, cruel, lustful, comic, duplicitous) humans have with each other and (b) the interactions (same list, pretty much) we have in our minds with our past, present, and future selves. These relationships cross and fade into each other so smoothly that neither we nor the characters are completely sure where one ends and another begins. A really wonderful book that feels like it will provoke thought for quite awhile.

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17 of 17 people found this review helpful

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