Review: Kafka On The Shore

Title: Kafka On the Shore
Author: Haruki Murakami
Rating: 5/5 ★★★★★

Kafka Tamura, a fifteen-year-old abandons his home to embark upon a journey in the quest of something, something which makes him feel free, something which gives him a profound comprehension of himself, something which absolves him of the devastating prophecy and something which gives meaning to his otherwise meaningless life. Nakata is an old man who has lost the ability to read or write but possesses the ability to communicate with cats. Nakata has other strange abilities which he discovers during his journey to Takamatsu. Is it destined for Kafka and Nakata to cross paths? The urge to know the connection between the two parallel stories lingers on with me till the end.

Haruki Murakami’s strength lies in his philosophies which are intertwined in the lives of the characters. He creates a magical and surreal world which is full of possibilities and does not confine himself to some set of pre-defined rules. He brilliantly paints the oddity of the characters, each carrying their own share of history, without being constrained to normative forms. Murakami hurls a literary magic taking the guise of Oshima a library attendant as he explains the metaphorical meaning of everything hidden beneath the deeper crypts of Japanese and Greek literature.

This book is filled with a tornado of sentiments with sometimes making me overjoyed but sometimes tearing me down piece by piece. Throughout the story, I found myself caught up in the plethora of emotions and slowly drawn into the whirlpool of the elegantly complex world. A world having a downpour of mackerels, sardines, and leeches, animals talking and shadows taking a human form. For someone who had little or no interest in magical realism, it came out to be a surprise and definitely a page-turner. After a point of time, I stopped making sense of the plot as I was preoccupied with the epiphany that we live in a loop and what is opened has a close. No matter how far we run away from the circumstances in search of existentialism our quest ends with us. “Distance doesn’t solve problems”. 

This book functions in the extremities appealing in a unique way to every individual. While reading, you might find yourself absorbed in a reverie leaving you astray. But once started, you will be reading more and more because simply you cannot stop. Like every other masterpiece, it has its highs and lows cloaked by a deeper purpose treasured within the string of words. In a nutshell, a must read for all.

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