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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle [Paperback]

Haruki Murakami , Jay Rubin
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
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Product Description

Amazon Review

Bad things come in threes for Toru Okada. He loses his job, his cat disappears, and then his wife fails to return from work. His search for his wife (and his cat) introduces him to a bizarre collection of characters, including two psychic sisters, a possibly unbalanced teenager, an old soldier who witnessed the massacres on the Chinese mainland at the beginning of the Second World War, and a very shady politician.

Haruki Murakami is a master of subtly disturbing prose. Mundane events throb with menace, while the bizarre is accepted without comment. Meaning always seems to be just out of reach, for the reader as well as for the characters, yet one is drawn inexorably into a mystery that may have no solution. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is an extended meditation on themes that appear throughout Murakami's earlier work. The tropes of popular culture, movies, music, detective stories, combine to create a work that explores both the surface and the hidden depths of Japanese society at the end of the 20th century.

If it were possible to isolate one theme in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle that theme would be responsibility. The atrocities committed by the Japanese army in China keep rising to the surface like a repressed memory, and Toru Okada himself is compelled by events to take responsibility for his actions and struggle with his essentially passive nature. If Toru is supposed to be a Japanese Everyman, steeped as he is in Western popular culture and ignorant of the secret history of his own nation, this novel paints a bleak picture. Like the winding up of the titular bird, Murakami slowly twists the gossamer threads of his story into something of considerable weight. --Simon Leake, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Deeply philosophical and teasingly perplexing, it is impossible to put down" (Daily Telegraph)

"Visionary...a bold and generous book" (New York Times)

"Murakami weaves textured layers of reality into a shot-silk garment of deceptive beauty" (Independent on Sunday)

"Mesmerising, surreal, this really is the work of a true original" (The Times)

"Critics have variously likened him to Raymond Carver, Raymond Chandler, Arthur C. Clarke, Don DeLillo, Philip K. Dick, Bret Easton Ellis and Thomas Pynchon - a roster so ill assorted as to suggest Murakami is in fact an original" (New York Times)

Book Description

A mesmerising, surreal novel - Murakami's most celebrated and influential masterpiece

From the Publisher

Mesmerising, surreal, this really is the work of a true original - The Times

From the Inside Flap

Toru Okada's cat has disappeared and this has unsettled his wife, who is herself growing more distant every day. Then there are the increasingly explicit telephone calls he has started receiving. As this compelling story unfolds, the tidy suburban realities of Okada's vague and blameless life, spent cooking, reading, listening to jazz and opera and drinking beer at the kitchen table, are turned inside out, and he embarks on a bizarre journey, guided (however obscurely) by a succession of characters, each with a tale to tell. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

Toru Okada's cat has disappeared.

His wife is growing more distant every day.

Then there are the increasingly explicit telephone calls he has recently been receiving.

As this compelling story unfolds, the tidy suburban realities of Okada's vague and blameless life, spent cooking, reading, listening to jazz and opera and drinking beer at the kitchen table, are turned inside out, and he embarks on a bizarre journey, guided (however obscurely) by a succession of characters, each with a tale to tell.

'Visionary...a bold and generous book' New York Times

'Murakami weaves textured layers of reality into a shot-silk garment of deceptive beauty' Independent on Sunday

'Deeply philosophical and teasingly perplexing, it is impossible to put down' Daily Telegraph

'Mesmerising, surreal, this really is the work of a true original' The Times

About the Author

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. He is the author of many novels as well as short stories and non-fiction. His works include Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, After Dark and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. His work has been translated into more than forty languages, and the most recent of his many international honours is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J.M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V.S. Naipaul.
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