Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Image sourced from here
I just spent 20 mins trying to explain what happens in this book. I can't. It sounds wooden, repetitive. This happens, then this, then this. In fact, a lot happens in this book. So many things. Finding cats, soldier's stories of war in China, Mongolia and Siberia, marriage break ups, psychics and spiritual healers, wells, 16 year olds in bikinis, wind-up birds, wigs. This book is 600 pages of the inexplicable.

In fact, I found myself halfway through the book and having no clue of what was going on, and where we were going. But I didn't care. Murakami is such a beautiful and lyrical storyteller I was happy for him to keep on taking me. I wasn't worried if I found myself at the end of the book and had no understanding of what had occurred, as the journey you were taken on was enough.

Luckily for me, I felt things got wrapped up at the end. I felt, unlike a few other reviews I have read, that I understood what had happened and that all the loose threads had been gathered together in an ending. Which is great, because I didn't have high hopes for the ending. I had heard that Murakami is not known for great endings. So I was pleasantly surprised. The other thing I have heard again and again about him, is his not particularly great sex scenes. I am not sure if that is a problem of translation, or if they are known in the Japanese as being oddly written as well. I think I had read one of his in the past that had been nominated for the Bad Sex award which was particularly appalling. So again, I was prepared for the worst and it was just normal bad, not terribly bad. Sex scenes are just hard to write well I have decided.

But these small hesitations aside, and then after dealing with my realisation of been lost, albeit pleasantly lost, in the book, it was another wonderful Murakami experience. I am glad I enjoyed one of his more fantastical books as much as his more realistic Norwegian Wood (seeing I have another four of his books on my shelf). I can see him cementing himself on to my favourites list.

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