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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Between two worlds, 24 Sep 2007
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This review is from: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (Paperback)
Noboru Wataya is the cat that mysteriously disappears from the lives of Toru and Kumiko Okada. Kumiko soon after, mysteriously disappears from the life of Toru. This is the beginning for what is going to be a strange, deep and long journey in the life of Toru Okada, which lately seems not to have been changing much from his usual daily run, always kept up by the peculiar "mechanical" noise of a bird, never shown but everyday heard.

The rhythm of this book has the precision of a tide growing on the shore; gentle and soft begins, but soon it starts to come stronger, louder and deeper in a violent escalade, reaching to the end of a cycle that soon time and nature promises to start all over again.

Murakami in the "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" introduces us to a collection of characters that individually represent different forces, which somehow represent also the universal balance of all things and consequently the true nature and essence of each human life. That balance is shown here mainly by the pure forms of good and evil, the dynamic between both and the result and consequent effect in the single and particular life individually. Here is less about finding the cause or explanation for those forces to exist, but more the recognition and the capacity of transformation they have; none of them are suppose to end triumphant but each one of them, good and evil, are assumed to have the same power, to take, give or neutralize each other strength. In the present lives of the main characters of the book, Toru and Wataya (not the cat, but Toru's brother -in- law, with the same name) are two different poles of energy that play a role forever played before by others; the example is illustrated with a piece of Japanese history and the atrocities made during the end of WW2. The connection made is brilliant, as it is the strange, funny and charismatic characters that cross Toru's life, leading him the clues for his own journey. All here is arranged according to the surreal, vivid and complex imagination of Murakami, so is to be expected some strange correlations and metaphoric events, many of them occurring while Toru's dreaming... but dreams and reality are more likely to dissolve one in the other as it is the capacity of humanity to attempt through real nightmares, as our living history so many times as already proven.
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