Kafka On the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Kafka on the Shore - Philip Gabriel, Haruki Murakami

Well, this book was... odd.

 

And dense.

 

Half of the book is centered around a boy named Kafka Tamura (he chose the name Kafka) who runs away from home partly because he feels like he needs to in order to grow and partly because of an Oedipal prophesy that was made in his youth by his father. The other half was about a man named Nakata. Because of an accident in his childhood that left him a blank slate at around 9 years old, he never caught up to his peers mentally but gained the odd talent of being able to talk to cats.

 

I was emotionally invested in Kafka's storyline the entire time but Nakata's story lost me about a quarter of the way into the book. I was invested in his story while it was telling about his past and I loved the his interaction with a character called Johnny Walker but once it became mostly about a literal journey he was going on (though not completely about it), I lost interest. That would be why I rated this as only 4 stars instead of five. Nakata's story was okay but I only really cared about Kafka's.

 

My favorite character, however, has to be Oshima. I can't explain why, since I want to keep this vague and who Oshima is is revealed over quite a long arc.

 

So, yes, dense. Oedipal prophesy, metaphysical experiences, murder, philosophy, a lot of historical references and discussions of poetry and classical music. It was a wonderful book to read but I always felt in need of a nap.