July's Book of the Month

Posted by Lunostophiles on Jun 30, 2013

It’s that time, marfs!  It’s the start of a new month, and we have a new book:

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.

Haruki Murakami is an award-winning author and one of the most, if not the most widely-read Japanese author in history.  Over his career, Murakami has bent the metaphysical with his novels and short stories which tackle big ideas of alienation and loneliness in our modern world.  Interlaced between these themes is a playfully sardonic humour, a wide number of pop cultural and literary references, and unforgettably relatable characters.  His stories have tread the lines between cyberpunk dystopia (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World), riffing on George Orwell (1Q84), and the intricacies of our mundane lives (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle), and he comes out of each new venture with unmitigated success.

From the back of Kafka on the Shore:

Kafka on the Shore is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home–either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister–and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that he cannot fathom.

As their paths converge, Haruki Murakami enfolds readers in a world where cats talk, fish fall from the sky, and spirits slip out of their bodies to make love or commit murder.  Kafka on the Shore displays one of the world’s great storytellers at the peak of his powers.

Kafka on the Shore is going to bend your mind, in all the right ways.  Through the curtain of absurdity and surrealism, Murakami manages to craft stories both delicate and towering.   Connection and loneliness are central themes, not just to Kafka, but to most of his novels; his characters are always searching for that human contact, in some way.  This butts up against Murakami’s musical and pop culture fingerprint, and Kafka on the Shore is as much about loneliness as it is about the power of music and how we can communicate through it; all reasons we at Bookmarfs chose this as the next book.

I hope you’ll join us in reading Kafka on the Shore this July.  Even if it seems out of character for you, try it!  What’ll happen if you do, other than saying you’ve read it?

To purchase Kafka on the Shore, you can try Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Audible.  Or you can try your local library!

Happy reading, marfs!