Book Review: Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami

There is no doubt that the book Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami is written brilliantly. The book has an amazing grip on the reader, but I am not sure whether I loved the book or not. The book is surreal, when I was reading the book I was so engrossed in it that I did not mind the magical things happening – cats talking, fish falling from sky, souls leaving the body & coming back – I even felt unreal after keeping down the book.

The book is about two people – Kafka Tamura & Satoru Nakata. Their stories run parallel to each other, initially both stories are independent but finally they intertwine. Both of them have left the comforts of their home. Kafka runs away from home on his 15th birthday to escape his father’s curse, and Nakata – nearer to end of his life rather then the beginning & has the ability to talk to cats – has a strange calling, he moves from one place to another only knowing what to do when he reaches the next place.

The book plays more on the subconscious then the conscious. There are many questions left unanswered in the book, it is a book that is difficult to understand and the more you try to understand it the more questions crop up. As per Murakami the secret to understanding the novel lies in reading it multiple times. Throughout the book there are multiple references to various literary works, and musical compositions. If I were to put my finger on the theme of this book, I would fail abysmally. There is suspense, there is magic, there is fantasy, there is violence, even humour finds place, and there are constant sexual fantasies.

This is the book that makes you feel that dreams may be real. Maybe our real life actions are determined by our dreams. This book takes you to a plane that is apart from this world, everything seems hazy, and the worldly things are left far behind. This book attempts playing with your head, and triumphs emphatically.

But I am still not sure whether I love this book or not!

6 Responses to “Book Review: Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami”


  1. 1 mythalez March 28, 2007 at 5:21 am

    Not payin close attention to the title and reading the first paragraph .. i thought u were talkin abt some book written by Kafka😀. similar descriptions can be applied to some of his works also

  2. 2 Kunal March 29, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    have not read other books by Murakami, but I am reluctant to leave the sane world again🙂

  3. 3 mythalez March 30, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    I was refering to the author Franz Kafka

  4. 4 Kunal April 2, 2007 at 1:55 pm

    oh! well have not read any of his either🙂 but will give it a try if I feel like it.. as of now I have many unread books …

  5. 5 Franz Kafka July 9, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    I will put this book on my list.

    Here is a quote from Franz Kafka:

    “A book should be an ice-axe to break the frozen sea within us.”


  1. 1 Book Review: Bicycle Days - John Burnham Schwartz « Something about Nothing Trackback on April 27, 2007 at 6:35 pm
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