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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Kafka Tamura runs away from home at 15, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy.

The ageing Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down.

As their parallel odysseys unravel, cats converse with people, fish tumble from the sky, a ghost-like pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night, a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since World War II. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle - one of many which combine to create an elegant and dreamlike masterpiece.

©2005 Haruki Murakami (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Wonderful.... Magical and outlandish." (Daily Mail)

"Cool, fluent and addictive." (Daily Telegraph)

"Hypnotic, spellbinding." (The Times)

What listeners say about Kafka on the Shore

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

The Narration is great but Story Disappoints

The book and the author has been so much raved about. This was my first Murakami and I am utterly disappointed. It was such a promising start which held all my attention. But it left so many ends open without any closure that it felt just a waste to have given the book so much of my time. I didn't find any character arc development in the characters except for two, Hoshino and Oshima. One of the main character, Kafka who first got my sympathy just turned out to be absurd and was left without much explanation for his actions. Take out random lines out of the book and it sounds deep and inspirational but not the story line. The events and objects are very much detailed and captures the imagination of the writer, beautiful description of Japanese landscape and architecture but too much of the story is left for for the reader to decipher.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narrators are fantastic!

I loved the narration, their performance is awesome! However, I have mixed feelings about the story.
Regardless will be giving more of Murakami's work a shot as I did enjoy the journey.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect first listen on audible

I have a feeling this is a rare instance where the audio book version might be better than the print. First audio book experience and a great one at that!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An unusual fiction!

So this book is not exactly the usual fantasy fiction I normally read, it's something entirely different.
Kafka on the Shore revolves around 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, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom.

As their paths converge, and the reasons for that convergence become clear, 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.

The story unfolds without any agenda or destination, but you are tempted to go with the flow and you cannot resist it. This book left me astounded. I couldn't decide on what to feel after finishing it.

I would definitely love to indulge myself in more of Haruki's work to enjoy this magical realism he puts in the stories.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Excellent

Performance was excellent
Story was great
just one disappointment... there were several open stories in the book.. if they were closed it would have been much better.

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A novel like no other.

This novel is an experience that isn't like any other, for better or worse.

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loved the narration.

narration is 10 out of 5. yes, that good.
Murakami is good at building suspense but terrible when it comes to lifting the view from them.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Magical Realism on point

Kafka on the Shore is about self discovery and overcoming inner fears and tragedies metaphorically portrayed in the journey of Kafka and Nakata.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Fantastic narration

I am usually on the fence about Murakami's works and the underlying meaning of his plots. However, this was a very good one and the impeccable narration added to the experience.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

one of best works of Murakami

narration is pretty good. the book is magical. takes you to another dimension. it is truly a labyrinth.