Old Favorite Friday: Introducing Murakami



Title: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Author: Haruki Murakami
Publication Year: 1997
Pages: 607
Publisher: Knopf
For my first installment for Old Favorites Friday, I am very excited to introduce my favorite book of all time (or at least up to this point), The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle!
This book is everything I didn’t know I was missing from my life. In fact, there is a little bit in it for everyone. It is part mystery, as the main character’s wife goes missing. It is part fantasy, as the characters dabble in alternative realities and dream-like realities (imagine psychic prostitutes). It is part post-modern realism and part a history lesson. But it is all parts mesmerizing and beautiful. This book has as much to offer as you want to look for. If you merely wish to read it for enjoyment, it provides a story with fun twists and turns, but if you want something deeper, this book offers a well of thought provoking ideas and underlying themes about society and individuality.
After reading this novel, I have slowly worked towards reading all of Murakami’s works. I am not finished with them all, but they are simply superb. This is probably why he has been the favorite for the Nobel Literature Prize for many, many years running. I highly recommend Wind-Up Bird as a first novel to jump into Murakami’s vast collection of literature as it exemplifies many common threads of his writing and succeeds where some of his other novels fall a little short of where I would have hoped. Of course, part of this could also be due to the translator. Jay Rubin translated Wind-Up Bird in the edition currently available in the US. He is a fantastic translator. He not only translates the words, but also the meaning and prose of the original.

So if you are ready to read about cats named after fish and mysterious wells, please, please, please start reading this book ASAP.

Even Rin enjoys this book!

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