Ah, the classic coming of age story. A young boy disagrees with his father, and decides to strike out on his own. A man struggles to speak to people, and can speak to animals. A boy wakes up, covered in blood, with news reports of his father being dea... Wait, this doesn't sound typical! Haruki Murakami's masterpiece. A tale filled with twists, turns, love, sadness, and realizing that, unlike most coming of age stories, you can not run away from your problems. Murakami manages to masterfully weave together the lives of multiple individuals, past, present, and future, in a winding road of trials and tribulations. You'll feel the pain of youth, you'll laugh at the odd situations, and you'll sit and wonder: why is Murakami so obsessed with talking cats? An absolute masterwork. I recommend this to anyone who likes strange, slightly supernatural, modern day fiction. Come along with Kafka, and traverse the shores of life.
Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down. Their parallel odysseys are enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerising dramas. Cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghostlike pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since WWII. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle. Murakami's new novel is at once a classic tale of quest, but it is also a bold exploration of mythic and contemporary taboos, of patricide, of mother-love, of sister-love. Above all it is an entertainment of a very high order.