15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Moments Of Brilliance But An Unsatisfying Whole,
This review is from: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (Paperback)
The Wind Up Bird Chronicle is both excellent and frustrating in equal measure. When Toru Okada's cat goes missing it sets off a chain of events that sees his wife go missing and starts Toru off on a metaphorical journey in search of her. For much of it's length this is a brilliant book, Toru meets some strange characters and hears some strange stories, the best by far being the wartime recollections of a soldier serving in the Japanese army in Manchuria. Where the book fails is that the many plot points and characters are never really unified in the way that would make this read as a novel rather than a collection of loosely linked tales. A far worse failing is that the last twenty pages are frankly a disgrace, as if Murakami was suddenly told that he had to finish the book in x pages. (This is not a complaint about an "open" ending, the book has a very "closed" ending - far too closed for what has passed before).
All in all I would recommend this book with the warning that however entrancing the parts many readers will find the sum much less rewarding.