Every once in a while, you read a book that makes your mind go ‘zooooo-blip-zoooo-bam!’. Well, at least that’s the best way to describe how I felt reading Murakami’s ‘Kafka on the shore’.
I bought this book almost a year back and had been saving it for a better day to read. That finally arrived two months ago.
When I started the book, I had no idea what I was expecting. The book certainly didn’t give any clue. (Which is fine with me. I like being surprised by books and movies in different ways.)
The novel revolves around two characters – 15-year-old Kafka Tamura and at the other end of the age spectrum – old man Nakata. While Kafka runs away from home to escape a prophecy by his father and to look for his long-lost mother and sister, Mr Nakata’s journey is riddled with an aim he doesn’t quite understand. Nakata talks to cats, makes fishes rain from the sky and can open a sort of time-space-portal by lifting a stone. Kafka’s search for his mother leads him to discover feelings he may have developed for the librarian he works with and the feelings he has about his future. In the process he must realise if he indeed is the toughest 15-year-old.
Murakami’s writing is known to be surreal. This is a mile-stone away from other contemporary writers I have read. And at the same time, it is completely removed from his style in ‘What I talk about when I talk about running’. The fact that he can write about a character without respect to time or space or age or even gender, boggled my mind every time. There was no hurried need to connect all the dots in the story, neither to join all the loose ends. The story progresses as it should, flowing from his mind to enthrall ours.