#14 Kafka On The Shore – Haruki Murakami

Title

Kafka on the Shore

Author

Haruki Murakami

Genre

Absurdist Fiction, Magic Realism

Readability

Easy. Composed mainly by dialogs.

Engagement

Medium. Sometimes you wish to progress in the story but you do not sacrifice a whole night to read it.

Score

score-3

Title (Original)

海辺のカフカ

Year of Publication

2002

Cover

Kafka On The Shore - Haruki Murakami

Short Description & Notes

Kafka on the Shore has two stories that develop in parallel and, at some point, intersect with each other. One is the story of Kafka, a 15-year old boy who decides to run away from home and from a mysterious father. The other one is about Nakata, a special sexagenarian, who has lost all his memories after a strange childhood accident, having acquired the ability to communicate with cats. Both stories are governed by moments of magic, humor and sexual contours. This book also allows us to enrich our culture with regard to music, both classical and contemporary, and gives us very interesting details about the Japanese culture and way of living. This is not a book for people who do not deal well with little concrete outcomes, since it gives us the freedom to imagine our own finale and to interpret all the mysteries that remain unsolved by the end. It is, above all, a book about feelings and about the seeking for the truth about oneself.

“Kafka on the Shore, a tour de force of metaphysical reality, is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle—yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.” – Goodreads: Kafka on the Shore

Remarkable Quotes

“Mais, a floresta aceita-me tal como sou, tacitamente, partilhando comigo a beleza e a paz que dela emanam.”

“Ontem, hoje, amanhã – os dias parecem-me todos iguais. Como um barco à deriva, o tempo flui sem destino sobre o imenso mar a perder de vista.”

“If you remember me, then I don’t care if everyone else forgets.”

Fun Facts

The books’ general idea is mastered by Georg Hegel’s philosophy.

Many characters are really funny: Johnnie Walker is a cat killer; Coronel Sanders (yes, the face of Kentucky Fried Chicken) that appears as a pimp trying to sell the sexual services of a college student; all the cats that speak to Nakata.

My personal favorite character is Satoru Nakata.

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