Kafka on the Shore
From Library Staff
The alternating stories of a boy who has run away from home to escape an Oedipal curse and a man who is able to talk with cats.
An unlikely alliance forms between Kafka Tamura, a fifteen-year-old runaway, and the aging Nakata, a man who has never recovered from a wartime affliction, as they embark on a surreal odyssey through a strange, fantastical world.
I love the fact that the main character finds solace in a library, not to mention the elements of magic realism, including an elderly man who is able to speak to cats.
This tells the parallel, linked stories of a teen runaway and an old man who has had a brain injury which leaves him unable to comprehend much but has given him the ability to talk to cats. Murakami likes to blur the boundary between the real and the surreal.
Weaves an unlikely friendship between Kafka, a teen with a curse and a mission, and the elderly Nakata, who has the gift of finding lost cats. Murakami, the genius of quirkydom, intentionally stymies his readers with this perverse, absurd world.