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4.0 out of 5 stars
certainly not the "metaphysical mind-bender"..., 31 Dec. 2005
... as stated on the cover...for the ones who read the "Wind-up-bird chronicle", at least. The most different people who never knew each other, and in some cases (like Mr.Nakata and Kafka Tamura) don´t even get acquainted eye-to-eye, but are connected by *something*, and all the chaotic events make some sense in the end. This is a motif described (better) in the "Wind-up-bird chronicle" as well as the ever recurrent motif of the missing (half-)shadow - C.G.Jung might be pleased with that - not to mention the development-woes of the 15 year old hero. Summarizing Murakami has done his job but he didn´t show us a new part of his abilities as an author - Murakami is always a nice counterpart to all the existential coldness out there. He is surreal, as always, but with ethics.
"The woods don´t scare me as much as they used to, either, and I´ve started to feel a kind of closeness and respect. ...That´s the important thing - follow the rules and the woods will wordlessly accept me, sharing some of their peace and beauty. Cross the line, though, and beasts of silence lay in wait to maul me with razor-sharp claws. ...Menacing branches, branches fighting for space, cleverly hidden branches, twisted, crooked branches, contemplative branches, dried-up, dying branches - the same scenery repeated again and again. Though with each repetition the forest grows a bit deeper. ...The forest doesn´t scare me anymore. It has its own rules and patterns, and once you stop being afraid you´re aware of them. Once i grasp these repetitions, I make them a part of me. ...This forest is basically a part of me, isn´t it ? ...The journey i am taking is inside me. Just like blood travels through veins, what I´m seeing is my inner self, and what seems threatening is just the echo of the fear in my own heart. The spiderweb stretched taut there is the spiderweb inside me. ..."
"Listen, Kafka. What you´re experiencing now is the motif of many Greek tragdies. Man doesn´t choose fate. Fate chooses man. ...People are drawn deeper into tragedy not by their defects but by their virtues. Sophocles´ Oedipus Rex being a great example."