A must read novel “Kafka on the shore”

-Alisha Ghimire

About two weeks ago I finished reading the book called “Kafka in the shore” by Haruki Murakami and after that I kept thinking about it right now I am still thinking. Either people completely adore this book or detest it but in my case I adore this enthralling novel so much. It is very hard to identify either this novel is philosophical, mysteries or fantasy. This likeable strange book changed the way I think.

The story follows the 15 year old boy Kafka Tamura who runs away from home is on an existential journey to find out who he really is. The main characters are Kafka Tamura son of Koichi Tamura the sculptor who is scared of a prophecy which is similar to prophecy of Odeipus from Greek Mythology. He is 15 yr old and he is protagonist leading the story. His character is certainly very deep for a 15 yr old and Murakami has added many layers and his character grows over time.

 Nakata is another important part of this story and holds same value as Kafka. His ability to view things through different lens brings freshness out of it. You cannot ignore the power he holds to stir this entire story. Without Nakata there is no mystery, there is no fantasy and no fish raining from sky. His character is one of the best written characters in any book I have read. We have Oshima who holds strong position in supporting the whole life of kafka and character is very subtle and given just as much as it was required of him. But Oshima quoting things from classical music to Philosophy to psychology to Greek mythology is a lot to learn from and he is good at looking through metaphors in everything. I love the point of Oshima recognizing strength in prejudices and have a strong view on LGBT community. Miss Saeki is the central part or cerebrum of this story, she created the entrance, she made the chords, she sang the song , she does everything she can to escape the world yet to be trapped in a world she created. Her character has strength, weakness, sorrow, pain yet very charismatic. The more you know about her the more you want to know Mr. Hoshino shows us how perfect he was a typical person stuck in something and flowing with what his heart says and as if he is chosen one to save the world. His character is amazing like fresh breath of air and the relationship with Nakata is so realistic. He does things which were to be done and he becomes part of the journey Johnnie walker aka koichi the person who is dark evil yet something about him feels he is doing it against his will but he is one causing catastrophe.

The story line oscillates between dreams and reality; sometimes you are as confused as the characters themselves constantly trying to understand the realm you are in. Murakami does amazing job in writing these characters emotions. As a reader you can feel the emotions of Kafka who is 15 year old trying to be strong and escaping from fate or Nakata who is just trying to live his life not knowing what has to come or like Miss Saeki with the sorrow in her eyes, the way she misses her lover, the way she is waiting for her death or Hoshino who is just going by flow. It’s a masterpiece for sure and worth the read. I like the narrative style and the writing is deep yet subtle at places, complex yet simple. There is something about this book which will keep me awake for a while. The story starts with stars miles apart but getting connected later forming a constellation. If you want to escape from reality then you should definitely read this novel.

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