The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

Book - 1998
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Having quit his job, Toru Okada is enjoying a pleasant stint as a "house husband", listening to music and arranging the dry cleaning and doing the cooking - until his cat goes missing, his wife becomes distant and begins acting strangely, and he starts meeting enigmatic people with fantastic life stories. They involve him in a world of psychics, shared dreams, out-of-body experiences, and shaman-like powers, and tell him stories from Japan's war in Manchuria, about espionage on the border with Mongolia, the battle of Nomonhan, the killing of the animals in Hsin-ching's zoo, and the fate of Japanese prisoners-of-war in the Soviet camps in Siberia.
Publisher: New York : Vintage International, 1998, c1997
Edition: 1st Vintage International ed
ISBN: 9780679775430
0679775439
Branch Call Number: FICTION MURAKAMI 1998
Characteristics: 607 p. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Rubin, Jay 1941-

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tjdickey
Apr 12, 2017

In the words of one of his characters, Murakami here is "engaged in a serious search for the meaning of his own existence." The dreamlike imagery and inconsistent grounding in basic reality is very mysterious, challenging, and even a bit unsatisfying. Yet, as with the stylized gestural language of Noh Theater, or the unstated inferences and juxtapositions of Haiku, Murakami's text will move you in unexpected and subterranean ways, if you allow. A fellow reader tells me images from this book still come vividly back to him years afterwards...

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elizali
Feb 06, 2017

Believe the hype! This was the first Murakami book I have read, and I am converted as a fan. One of the best books I have read in the last year - Murakami is clearly talented and prolific for good reason. So glad I finally ponied up for this one.

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Sep 08, 2016

Haruki Murakami is one of, if not the most highly regarded novelist in Japan for a reason: his grasp on magical reality is unparalleled. The story of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle follows a man named Toru Okada who searches for his wife’s missing cat, and along the way meets some interesting characters. The plot of the story really isn’t much to focus on when reading this book (or rather, the three books in this volume) – the feeling, and meaning behind the words Murakami writes are breathtaking to say the least. It is a novel about a man, a cat, his wife, the buried secrets of WWII in Manchuria, and what it means to love, die, hate, and find reason to be alive. - @FalcoLombardi of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

PimaLib_JudyM Jun 03, 2016

There was a lot of head scratching in my book group about this particular book. It was dreamlike, and I was never really certain what was real. That was actually not a bad thing as I found myself pondering the meaning and symbolism for many days after reading it. That being said, as a heads up, it is pretty graphically violent at times, and I could have lived without some of the description. Despite that, I found it the most intriguing book I read last year.

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Filthy_Doves
Apr 26, 2016

Third favorite Murakami book, really enjoyed it all the way through.

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minjee89
Mar 23, 2016

This is my favorite Haruki Murakami novel! I would highly recommend it.

1
1aa
Jan 19, 2016

The tone is informal/ talkative, given from the point of view of the protagonist, a naive man in his 30s. Lots of unusual things happen, some connected, but mostly disconnected. The story starts all slowly coming together about halfway through, and gets more intense and suspenseful until the end, though there are several loose ends. Whether these loose ends are built-in or a by-product of this edition is not clear: it would be in keeping with 'postmodern' literary narrative techniques, but also its much shorter than the original: Rubin, the translator submitted two versions: a 900 page complete translation, and a 600 page version that he was asked for by the English language publisher (Murakami is so famous that one wonders why they jsut didn't publish the whole thing).

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haPPY_FUn_baLL
Mar 28, 2015

Not my favourite Murakami book, but still pretty entertaining. The protagonist has to wade through a sea of strange experiences, odd characters and his own thoughts to solve the mystery of his missing wife (and yes, there is a cat in this story).

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augsburgerin
Nov 05, 2014

If you haven't read any Haruki Murakami yet, I strongly recommend starting with this one.

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ABenoit
Jul 12, 2014

I liked it

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Pnpclear
Jun 28, 2015

Pnpclear thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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sky123
Feb 11, 2015

It was not one of those strong, impulsive feelings that can hit two people like an electric shock when they first meet, but something quieter and gentler, like two tiny lights traveling in tandem through a vast darkness and drawing imperceptibly closer to each other as they go. As our meetings grew more frequent, I felt not so much that I had met someone new as that I had chanced upon a dear old friend. p.223

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