Divided into split narratives, this work of fiction never ceases to satiate your literary taste buds. From a 15-year-old runaway in search of freedom to an old-man capable of talking to cats, the book welcomes you in a typical Murakami style.
As the name of the book suggests, Murakami seems quite influenced by the works of the great Franz Kafka; and to see Kafkaesque elements settling down subtly well into this magical Murakami orbit is an out of the world experience.
Murakami’s ability to speak through his characters is truly an unmatched wonder. On one hand, he shows the intricacies of the human mind and emotions, through the 15-year-old runaway Kafka Tamura who while being plagued with an utterly dark Oedipus prophecy is also trying to carve a niche for himself. On the other hand, Murakami turns his back completely away from this element when it comes to the not-so-bright, easy going, cat-loving old man Nakata. This very contrast and the use of uncommon elements like talking cats, rustling forests, and roads make Haruki Murakami a writer of his own league.
Murakami also seems obsessed with projecting himself into his works with authority, his philosophical commentaries or his love for Beethoven’s life and work are just two of the many examples which he constantly makes references to.
The only drawback which I felt was the repetition and the predictable use of elements. Having said that, the book is a nourishing source of food for thought which the reader must indulge in.
Rating: 4 out of 5