Japan with Kafka on the Shore


“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”–Haruki Marukami, Kafka on the Shore

  • Here’s what happens:
    • This is an enchanting tale of Kafka, a philosophical runaway fleeing an Oedipal prophecy, and Nakata, an old man who talks to cats in search of a magical stone, and their unexpected and absurd journeys. There’s a few other ludicrous elements–there is legitimately a character who devours cat hearts–that are honestly too strange to adequately summarize. You’ll just have to give them a read for yourself.
  • It’s good because:
    • It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what makes this story so alluring. Every time I set out to explain what it was about, I found myself wondering why I was reading this unusual book–and why I was enjoying it. Nevertheless, I was very much pulled into this dark, magical and–frankly–bizarre tale. I’m a big fan of magical realism, and I’d venture to say this is a wonderful example of it, while at the same time being completely unlike anything I’ve read before.
  • Read if:
    • You enjoy magical realism, and have a good sense of humor for outlandish irony and fantastical metaphors.

Up next: Wales with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs!


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