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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel
by Haruki Murakami
Amazon rating
Critique Circle rating 
PublisherVintage
Release Date1998-09-01 (added to CC 22 May 2009)
Amazon Sales Rank2,349
Japan's most highly regarded novelist now vaults into the first ranks of international fiction writers with this heroically imaginative novel, which is at once a detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II.

In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan's forgotten campaign in Manchuria.

Gripping, prophetic, suffused with comedy and menace, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force equal in scope to the masterpieces of Mishima and Pynchon.


Member Reviews
(16 Aug 2015)
This is an extraordinary book, in so many ways. I can't say that I've ever read anything even slightly similar. When I checked the eBook out, I had no idea how long it was....1,250 pages. If I had known that, I may have passed it up. In some ways I'm glad I didn't, and in some ways I wish I had. It turned out to be intriguing and quite bizarre, and at times tedious. I can't begin to know how to sum it up, there are too many tales being told. Does it come together, well sort of, but there are holes in the story line, and I agree with the other critique, that I was quite disappointed in the ending. He belabors some parts of the story to the point of exhausting them, and finished the book off very briefly. He's a very accomplished writer, so who am I to judge, but as a reader, well, I am still perplexed by the book, and I'm looking forward to getting on with my life. : )
(7 Aug 2014)
This book is a Kafkaesque look at the disintegration of a marriage. The writing is eloquent, the historical elements are fascinating and the voice is strong. The only fault I found was in myself. I like endings best when all the lose ends are tied up. Don't expect that from this book.
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