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Mr Murakami? I fear you've used a name in vain (yet again),
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This review is from: Kafka On The Shore (Vintage Magic) (Paperback)
It's impossible for me to know if some of this book's nuances are lost in translation but suffice it to say this English version is one of the worst books I've read. The prose is meretricious and pretentious. The plot, such as it is, is contrived and inorganic. The dialogue is stilted (I lost count of the number of times characters recited each other's formal names [Mr Hoshino, Mr Nakata etc.] in order indicate the gravity of their next line) and packed full of pointless detail (again, I lost count of the number of times we were treated to a rundown on a character's choice of food) and exposition and philosophical name-dropping. Not one of the characters is remotely believable or particularly interesting. I enjoy the strange and surreal in fiction, and have read some of the greatest exponents of this type of work, but I'm afraid Murakami just doesn't cut the mustard. Here the weirdness is so self-conscious as to be irritating. There is no cohesion to the story, with many characters and events simply being used to pad the plot. Obvious allusions to Greek mythology, and gratuitous scenes of animal torture, are thrown in for shock value but have little relevance. Sad to say, neither Kafka's or Mr Nakata's journeys are anything more than pointless drudges through a meaningless void.