Book review: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

August 30, 2009

Title: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Author: Haruki Murakami
Pages: 607

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a strange and complex novel that covers themes like philosophy, history, fantasy and the occult. Most of the book is narrated in the first-person by a Japanese man named Toru Okada.

Toru leads a simple and rather unimpressive life. He quit his job and stays at home while looking for a job. His wife, Kumiko, supports both of them with her income. However, strange things start happening to Toru – an unknown woman keeps calling and trying to get him to have phone sex, his cat disappears, his wife disappears, etc.

He soon realizes that his life is inextricably linked to a complex series of events that go back to the second world war (which took place before Toru and his wife were born).

I liked how Murakami weaves in secondary stories in the form of letters, dreams, flashbacks and newspaper articles. I especially liked the newspaper aticles, they were laid out quite realistically.

The “unreality” of this novel made me prefer the other novel of his (After Dark) that I had read a while back. Although the plot is complex and unreal the book was interesting and far from being difficult to read.

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