There is a cat. And it is missing.
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…)