Title: The Wind up Bird Chronicle
Author: Haruki Murakami
Translated by: Jay Rubin
Publisher: Vintage (English Edition)
As an author, Haruki Murakami is definitely one of my favourite. However always reading the translations, makes me feel somewhat like I am missing out. Books will always be better in their original language no matter what. However, as hesitant as I always am with books that have been translated, this was definitely an instant classic but there were some issues with it.
To summarize the long story: It tells the story of Toru Okada who is an unemployed stay at home husband who does nothing all day and just listens to music, makes spaghetti and generally lazes around. His wife Kumiko works for a small publisher, and she is always out working, or so Toru thinks. The plot starts with Toru looking for there missing cat called Noburu Wataya (also the name of Kumiko's brother). During this quest he comes across many people and from then on the plot unfurls. Kumiko leaves home (though I won't go into too much detail, as I do not want to spoil the plot for those that want to read it) and this is when the plot unfurls.
If you want a book with a strong story line and one with a proper plot, then this will not be book. The plot is virtually nonexistent. Basically it is the quest to find a lost cat. However this book is definitely different, and Murkami is clever in branching the story off from the original plot. It is clever because Murakami, using the idea of looking for a cat for his story is able to mould the story into any shape he likes. He is able to let anything happen and that is one of the good thing about the book, you just cannot guess what is going to happen next.
One annoying thing about the book is the fact that in one half of the book there is character but in the other half they suddenly disappear. While reading the book you just wonder what actually happened to the character.
Although I said that the plot of the story was weak, the content is deep and there is just that attention to detail which I can't find with any other author. You are kept gripped by what is a magnificent story. Accounts are told from World War 2 in the novel by an old war veteran. There are many characters within the book, but all of them are equally interesting. I love the fact that there is a lot of detail about the characters, you almost feel like you know them.
Those who have read Murakami will know that his writing style is different to what you would normally read, but that defiantly is not a bad thing, in fact it adds to the originality which his books already posses. The book is really more than a story about looking for a lost cat, it is about ones search for happiness and Toru's search for his destiny. The book ends with many questions unanswered as it ends all so sudden. I felt when I finished the book that It should not have ended there as it just didn't seem like an appropriate place to stop.
It is one of the books that you have to read to understand why it really is such a good book, but there is no denying that it is a good book. For that reason I am going to give it a 9/10 overall.
Let me know what you think & show your support by commenting!
Until next time,