Chronicles of Reading

Wind Up BirdI reread The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle for my book club, yet I wasn’t able to attend the meeting on that book. Still, I enjoy Murakami a lot and I wanted to set aside some time to actually write about it.

A long time ago, I read one of Murakami’s selections of short stories. The first story was the first chapter of this novel. When I finished the story, I felt like I had been floating along for ages and then suddenly dropped 50 feet to my death. Does that make any sense? Maybe you need to read his short stories. It left me wishing I could turn the next page and find out what happens next.

When I first started reading the novel, I had a case of deja vu and then I realized my wish had been granted. The strange phone call and the missing cat from the first story start threads that we try desperately to understand. More complications ensue, as it does with all Murakami novels. Here’s a list of things: missing wife, sinister brother-in-law, prostitute of the mind, horrific wars, strange birthmarks, and more.

I enjoyed this one a lot because even when it seemed like we would go way off tangent, I wanted to keep on reading. While there are many questions that arise in this novel and some of those questions get answered, other items are left hanging, and it makes book clubs more fun because you can say, “but what you do think about that part? What was its purpose?”

In visual art, it is said that good art is something that we come up to and makes us think. It has a conversation with us, sometimes leaving us perplexed and still thinking about it later. It’s not cut and dry. There’s more there. I feel the same way with Murakami novels. There’s something bigger there that I’m trying to grasp at. So I keep reading.

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