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!