New York, NY, USA

Kafka on the Shore and Magical Realism

Kafka on the Shore Haruki Murakami Book Review

"Kafka on the Shore is a story about a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who is on the run, and Nakata, an aging simpleton who is drawn to Kafka for reasons that he cannot fathom. As their paths converge, acclaimed author 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, in what is a truly remarkable journey.”


Within the first few pages I couldn’t put it down. It is beautifully written and refreshingly unpredictable, yet easy to read. I read a review that said, 
“Murakami is a surrealist painter”
 and I wholeheartedly agree. It’s riveting and insanely crazy. It’s free from normal paradigms and typical novel constraints and leaves you in a state of reverie. He’s truly an author you have to experience for yourself to understand his uniqueness and art form. 


This book isn’t for those who are rationally minded and closure seeking. With each chapter you’re trying to sort out how everything is tied together and the ending hit me like a truck. All expectations are destroyed and you’re left lost in a world of unanswered questions. I suppose his brilliance lies in leaving everything up to interpretation, though I can’t say that is to my taste. I wish I knew going into the book that it’s entirely a metaphor. You’re constantly trying to sort what is a “real event” and what is a delusion/metaphor. It is magic realism and has no rules. I was so frustrated by the ending and was left wanting all my questions answered, but I suppose that means I missed the point. The other reservation I had toward this book was concerning the surprising, disturbing and confusing sexual encounters. I will just stress that it was really disturbing, especially with no outright explanation. 

It was a beautifully written page turner, but I felt so unfulfilled by the ending. It’s not for everyone. I think I would appreciate it more if I read it a second time. 

Kafka on the Shore Haruki Murakami Book Review


Form for Contact Page (Do not remove)