Dear fellow Babblers,
Happy Friday Eve! At this point in my insubstantial existence the days of the week are becoming less and less important as one 24-hour cycle seems to blur into the next here in my sunny palm-tree infested hometown of West LA (why you gotta be so precise Delphine? No one’s trying to track you down so stop your babble and get to the weekly meme!).
Hear the voice inside my head? A bit aggressive, don’t cha think? That’s what I gotta deal with along with the summer heat and continuous roar of California traffic which all seems to crowd perfectly on Wilshire towards Santa Monica beach… Guess my beach trip is going to be postponed yet another afternoon. So now that I’m yet again sitting at my favorite spot in front of my window, black iced tea infused with lemon by my side I thought ” Why not get some babbling in? ” And what are we book babbling about today, on this crisp, bright Thursday? Top of the hour weekly meme time!
Today’s meme is Throwback Thursday Pick of the Week, hosted by Renee of Itsbooktalk. It’s kinda like a « show and tell » of our own old, personal favorites as well as books that we hope to soon read that have been published over a year ago – creative way to recommend and add new books to each other’s TBR (as if we are not drowning amongst our piles already). Whether or not your able to endure my personal pick I encourage you to check out Itsbooktalk and hop on board with the weekly meme. And if so, don’t forget to link back to the page, and you’re definitely encouraged to use the same image as I, as well as susandyer1962 have done!
As many of you have probably realized by now I am a huge Haruki Murakami fan! Like, I allude to him in several of my post. Yet somehow, I have not written any reviews of absolutely any of his novels, as many as there are! I’m currently reading his collection of short stories, The Elephant Vanishes. For today’s show and tell I’ve decided on my very first Murakami read, Kafka on the Shore. Not only was it my first by the description and Goodreads review but umm..hello – there’s a freaking cat on the front cover (at least of the edition Barnes & Noble sold me)!
Title: Kafka on the Shore
Author: Haruki Murakami
Publisher: Vintage International
Publication Date: January 03, 2006
Rating: 5 Stars”
” It’s like Tolstoy said. Happiness is an allegory, unhappiness is a story ” .
Kafka on the Shore is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom.
As their paths converge, and the reasons for that convergence become clear, Haruki Murakami enfolds readers in a world where cats talk, fish fall from the sky, and spirits slip out of their bodies to make love or commit murder. Kafka on the Shore displays one of the world’s great storytellers at the peak of his powers.
Kafka on the Shore is exactly as the title represents: a metaphor. Kafka, our protagonist runs away from home and is swept into a metaphysical journey. He escapes reality by spending his days in an ancient library, reading the hours away only to ultimately find out that the director of the library is, indeed, his long lost mother. And, so like Murakami to add a disturbing, yet seductive twist – he begins a sexual relationship with her.
If that’s not enough to send your imagination into overdrive we alternate in narrative time with an old, slightly bonkers man, Nakata who has just about the coolest power ever – he talks cat – literally! Because of his war injury, Nakata has lived off government support and makes extra cash by locating neighbor’s cats. This superpower is precisely what causes Nakata and Kafka’s narratives to ultimately converge into a genuinely surreal ending. If you’re into fantastically psychological novels with a hint of sexy romance attached to it… and ONLY if your promise me you’re a cat-lover, do I recommend Kafka on the Shore.
Murakami traverses multiple, almost Freudian ideas – dreams v. sleep, mother-son ” love “, and belonging to create an instantly evocative portrait of the mind in all it’s twisted ways from our imagination to the way our fantasies could turn our whole perception of reality upside down. Kafka on the Shore was a definite page-turner for me with its slow buildup of suspense and many narrative pauses for mediation on the dreams we confront in our sleep and somewhat blur into our everyday life.
Thanks again to Itsbooktalk for the great meme! Read Kafka on the Shore or anything else entrancing from Murakami? Comments? Bookish recommendations? Send this gal a babble!
(Featured Image credit goes to Itsbooktalk)
(Text image credit goes to Google)