I discovered Murakami last year and I fell in love. Murakami’s writing is simple and so easy to follow, that you never feel like putting the book down. But then sometimes his writing is so difficult to follow that you have no choice but to put it down after a chapter or so. Funnily, Kafka is both.
Kafka on the shore is a book that follows two stories running parallelly but you know that ultimately they will meet. It follows Kafka, a 15 year-old boy running away from home and it follows Nakata, a 60 year-old man looking for a cat. Kafka is running away from his father because he refuses to believe that life has in store for him what his father thinks. Nakata is looking for a cat because he can speak to cats. The book alternates between both their stories with a million things overlapping between them but you don’t really realize that till you are done. Kafka took me a really long time to finish. Mostly because at times the book would suddenly take a 360 degree turn and leave me mind boggled. But every time I felt that, every time I wanted to go back and read it.
I will admit that Kafka has parts (maybe chapters) that will confuse you. That will make you feel like the story isn’t going in any real direction. My advice is this: Get through these parts. Because when you do, you will thank me. Kafka will take you some time to read. It will make you think and maybe make you re-read something because you didn’t really get it. But like every other Murakami book, Kafka will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it.