I've read quite a few books of Murakami (Kafka on Shore, after the quake, birthday stories and of course the Wind-up bird) and I consider him to be one of the best novelists out there(along with Paul Auster and Philip Roth). He has an amazing ability to narrate surreal situations in the most natural way, as if these things are happening here and now. He is also a master of bringing feelings and thoughts that we have well-buried inside us to the surface in just a few lines. Kafka is a brilliant example. Each and every word he uses is carefully chosen so as to make the novel like a very tightly woven web. Yet this is done in a seemingly effortless way that the reader (at least I! ) finds refreshing. Having said this, I have to say that the Wind-up bird left me a bit puzzled. I found its structure problematic and overall imbalanced. At some points I kept reading the book with great enthusiasm, but most of the times I kept asking myself "Why is he writing all these things?" I read it until the very end, some 600 pages, slept over it, thought about it after some days, but never found an answer to my question. Yes, it is about alienation, yes he shows how problematic and fragmented relationships can be in our post-modern society. No, he didn't have to spend 600 pages to get across these notions. The fact that it didn't really enjoy the book doesn't deter me from reading more of Murakami. I've now started "South of the border" and it seems to be a delight!
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