this book reminds me of some weird japanese fantasy films such as spirited away and the secret world of arrietty.
the only thing that differs them to the book is they are fantasy films for children, this book however is mature and deep.
kafka on the shore is the second book of haruki murakami i read after norwegian wood. honestly, i was only anticipating to read this because i thought the story would sound as contemporary as the latter. i thought it would be another story of a protagonist who indulges himself to the world of puberty as he runs away from home. but i guess i just underestimated murakami’s talent into illustrating fantasies to his readers, or maybe because i seldom read synopses.
it was adventuruos reading along the characters’ point of view. as kafka tamura and nakata are both in search for some things they oath to accomplish—kafka who runs away from home to find his long missing mother and sister and nakata who is in a mission to open this unworldly gate which he must also close right after—weird things happen and somehow between these things, they are bound to become closer and connected.
also, when kafka tamura entered this world found deep in the forest—one which the gateway is opened by nakata—nothing but goosebumps have grown on my skin, this scene rings a bell. in my hometown, there are theories and legends that say somewhere deep in the forest of one of the towns in my land also lies a big and developed city—hidden and sacred. people keep vanishing and some often times having quick, accidental glance to this place.
anyway, the story is a bit of a fantasy but most scenes here are creepy and straight-forwardly mature. what else would we expect to murakami? he writes mature scenes vividly but without sounding them cringy and lousy.
indeed, haruki murakami never fails to impress me with his style of writing. i felt like i was also in an adventure along with the characters. rainstorms of fishes and leeches, talking cats, and a town in the middle of a deep forest which seems like out of human touch are things murakami made possible to happen in a story of a boy who just runs away and an old man who remembers nothing of his past and talks to cats.
if you enjoy watching animated japanese films with weird story concepts, you might as well like this book. i hope japan would produce a film for this.
final verdict: 4.5 / 5 stars