Book Review: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Author- Haruki Murakami

“The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” is a novel initially published in three volumes in the Japanese language in the year 1994-1995, which was translated to English by Jay Rubin and published in a single volume in the year 1997. The story based in the suburbs of Japan is the story of a recently unemployed 30-years-old man Toru Okada who commences his journey by looking for his missing cat and loses and finds many things along the way. The book simultaneously explores the historical events of World War II and its impact that weighed down Japan in the second half of the 20th century.

The plot revolves around the theme of desires, power, relationships, and alienation. The characters, however independent, are somehow connected. The storytelling of Murakami is intricately detailed and vivid. A lot of mention of the Western Pop songs are also present, which adds up to the uniqueness of the novel.

If I have to describe the book in one word, it would be “Weird”. The novel is a fantasy cum sci-fi cum adventure novel, and it’s at times hard to distinguish among dreams, illusion, and real events. The characters though full and round in description, behave in an utterly bizarre and peculiar manner. The book is ambitious since it has too many things going on (and some may have absolutely no relevance to the story of Toru Okada, the protagonist) and may even seem absurd. If you enjoy adventure and fantasy movies and don’t mind drifting into the world the author creates without questioning, its resonance with the real world, then this book is worth a read. Praised by many renowned critics, this book is certainly different and too “weird” but to understand whether it’s a good weird or a bad weird, you need to take the journey, since, Murakami’s world is more of an experience.

Rating for this book- ***/5

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