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There is always room for improvement; leave a comment tell me what you think. And please, be brutal. Nothing like being eviscerated by the general public (though in reality no one reads this so maybe not so general public).

25 11월, 2007

What is it with Oedipal Complexes That Make Such Good Fodder?

My first book review. Yay! So anyways while browsing through a thread on Dramabeans website, she mentioned author Haruki Murakami as her favorite of all time, considering her good taste in TV, it certainly piqued my interest but it didn't make a lasting impression, or so I thought. I must have stored it somewhere in the back of my mind, because walking past a display in the central library, his name pops up as I walk out the door, and a couple of days later I borrow Kafka on the Shore (I was actually supposed to be attending an art function next door at the museum, but I was more amused than amazed so I wandered through to the library instead).

Two different, slightly out of sync lives sharing the same story make it for an interesting read. The first tale is of a boy named Kafka, runs away on the day of his fifteenth birthday under a foreboding curse bestowed on him by his father and winds up at a library run by the mysterious yet alluring Miss Saeki. He goes on to befriend Oshima, the ostensibly male librarian who works there and reads all sorts of great books and works through some serious issues. The second is about Nakata, an elderly gentleman, who due to some accident is unable to read or write, but possesses the uncanny ability to speak to cats and so supplements his government "sub city" by finding lost cats.

This is the first book that I've read in ages and in that I managed to finish reading it in two days (in between a whole host of other things going on in my life that i won't get into now) and kept forging on through some intensely depressing scenes, means only one thing: The book was damn good. Murakami was able weave fantasy, modern life and the (definitely) surreal into an intense, gripping read that constantly keeps you reaching for understanding until the very end. He adds touches of whimsy and humour that had me laughing in the middle of a train @ 6:30 am on the way to work and garnering some intensely weirded out looks. He introduces minor threads that are woven into the story at the most unexpected moments, jolting the reader. Even so, the book is unrelentingly dark. It seems that the courses for these two lives, headed toward an inevitable meeting both in the flesh and in the ether, are burdened with things definitely out of left field. I was left profoundly disturbed by the oedipal and incestuous references (as i always am), but funnily enough in a Back to the Future, Marty and his young mother sort of way.

The book was an amazing reintroduction back into the world of literature, and since I am currently sans the interwebs (picture deep, wracking sobs at the public library while typing this. How the heck does one go about surviving without a computer?), I've picked up another author also seen in passing. We'll see how this whole book reading thing goes.

5 out of 5. One fantastic mind-bender

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