The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Part 2 (the regular laptop with internet access version)

Thoughts    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, Vintage Books/Random House 1998 (orig 1997), translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin, 607 pages


There is a cat.  And it is missing.

– Maree of Just Add Books – my readalong partner for this novel and for the Murakami Reading Challenge

This part is for my friend Jimmi who complimented me once on my reviews giving ‘just enough’ information.  (I hope!)

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is an easy read if you just go along with the the ride.  I honestly thought I would encounter a lot of Japanese ‘stuff’ and really, the only culture wall I hit was when something had a price in yen rather than dollars and I had no idea if that was a lot of money or not.   Truly, the similarities to my own US culture – the stopping at Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee, for example – was almost TOO relatable for a book translated from another language!    AND that it was set in the 80’s was even more remarkable for its relatability factor in that even then, it was not too foreign.

I don’t read much ‘magical realism’ and wouldn’t be very good at defining it?  but this book is ODD.    and matter of fact.   Which is probably the realism part because as you encounter the magic, you wonder why no one else in the story seems particularly struck by how weird this is getting…

It’s about a guy who is out of work but only slightly bothered by the situation.  He is easy-going and compliant.   And yet, when he acts, he does so with strong conviction.  He meets all sorts of interesting people and makes a few odd friends.    The book covers some of the war between Japan and Russia leading into World War II.   It has gore and violence and tragedies of said war and prison life.      It’s got LOVE!    and mother-son affection.  And family dysfunction – quite a lot of family problems and secrets, really, but not explored in depth.

Back to our protagonist….   His wife leaves him and he sets the goal to get her back.  To rescue her — or, at the very least, get an explanation for her leaving.

And, well.   I guess that’s about it.    All sorts of crazy bat shit happens on the way.

I liked him. I was yelling at him at some points in the story and shocked beyond all expectations in one scene (WTF?!?!)   and finally, I think, the whole nutty tale boils down to LOVE.   Love conquers all.  Love. Reigns. Supreme.

Love is all there is.     And a few unexplainable strange evil threads of time or other worlds and stuff.

I’m so glad the cat came back, too.   (If it was the same cat…)


Copyright © 2007-2011. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Part 1 (the iPad version)

OK, I will attempt to compose this on my iPad… Which means words mightruntogether, I won’t be posting pics, typos+mispellings galore and other mishaps that at this point I can’t foresee. deal. (Sure there is a WP app but it got screwed up on theloadand I have yet to address.) I will fix on Tuesday or sometime…

Thoughts (imagine cover of book here) The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami,

Vintage Books/Random House 1998 (orig 1997), translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin, 607 pages

This first part is for my Twitter friends who have been holding their breath waiting for me to post this — You can let out that breath now! You know the story already; you’ve already read it and some of you multiples times* and at least one of you has been reading this WITH me on the other side of the world… Which is cool.

I am not sure what I think about this novel! I am not sure I am a fan. I certainly was intrigued and curious how these odd story lines would meet and what it would all mean. But. I don’t think many of my questions were answered.

That said, I am not opposed to reading something else by this imaginative and popular author. I own Norwegian Wood, so I will give that a go next.

(pie image)


This review interrupted here because on the iPad, once I save a draft, I can’t roll the page down to get to the space to type more information!   I added this later…  I was on the boat and my WP app wasn’t working.    Will continue and improve in Part 2.   Thank you.