Kafka On The Shore – Haruki Murakami

Kafka by the hsore

This is the first work I’ve read of Haruki Murakami and I’m certainly impressed if not totally blown away.

Even though the novel talks about outlandish things like fish falling from the sky, talking cats, un-aged soldiers, alternate worlds and taboo topics like mother-son and sister-brother love; it definitely is a gripping read.

Murakami intertwines the lives and stories of the two lead characters wonderfully and never lets you lose interest in the story. But the best part about this 600 page saga is the beauty with which he explains each and every situation and feeling by drawing elegant and totally appropriate analogies with things that you would’ve rendered misfit under normal circumstances. While turning page after page, you’d be able to relate with the characters (no matter how weird), conjure up images of places you’ve never ever been to and even feel the heaviness of silence weighing on the character.

Read it if you haven’t already! I wouldn’t recommend it for a novice reader though.

Here are a few quotes I found noteworthy:

  • “Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.”
  • “You can’t look too far ahead. Do that and you’ll lose sight of what you’re doing and stumble.”
  • “But nature is actually unnatural, in a way. And relaxation can be threatening. It takes experience and preparation to really live with those contradictions.”
  • “generally, when someone is trying very hard to get something, they don’t. And when they’re running away from something as hard as they can, it usually catches up with them.”
  • “Happiness is an allegory, unhappiness a story.” – Tolstoy
  • “I happen to like the strange ones. People who look normal and leads normal lives – they’re the ones you have to watch out for.”
  • “Artists are those who can evade the verbose.”
  • “The pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future. In truth, all sensation is already memory.”
  • “Far away the crow caws. The earth slowly keeps on turning. But beyond any of those details of the real, there are dreams. And everyone’s living in them.”
  • “Things that are open have to be shut.”
  • “Pointless thinking is worse than no thinking at all.”
  • “Until things happen, they haven’t happened. And often things aren’t what they seem.”
  • “Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”
  • “Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive.”

6 thoughts on “Kafka On The Shore – Haruki Murakami

      1. Oh yes, I read those too and enjoyed them but 1Q84 can be a bit frustrating. I felt it left me with way too many unanswered questions. Still, some consider it Murakami’s magnum opus and it’s definitely worth a read.

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