My first encounter with Murakami was when my best friend lent me his Dance, Dance, Dance—a metaphysical detective story about an unnamed protagonist and his search for the truth behind the disappearance of a woman she had loved, starting from a hotel where it all started. By reading Murakami for the first time, I can say that I’ve become a smarter reader because of his extraordinary ability to stir his readers’ intellect and imagination.
I was able to follow it up with another Murakami book, After Dark, the first book I had purchased from Fully Booked. The story revolves around modern night Tokyo and how the world’s loosely-woven reality comes apart at the seams when the dark falls. I found the book even eerier, but was still a lighter read compared to Dance, Dance, Dance, let alone it was shorter. I can still remember the way I used to read it in between calls just to finish it, and for my best friend to allow me to buy more of Murakami’s books.
And indeed, Norwegian Wood, still a Murakami masterpiece, followed. Here, Murakami was at his most normal state but the sudden shift from his usual style and tone didn’t disappoint me. The book may just be a plain love story to many people, but his deep understanding of the human psychology and sensitivity made the characters so real, and the story very emotionally affective. These characteristics were most evident with his tenth novel, Kafka on the Shore, a story about a 15-year-old boy escaping from an oedipal prophecy cast to him by his father.
After several reading attempts over the last five months, I had finished the book last May 3, 2011. I was supposed to write my first book review for Cosmic Glitch but the eventful fourth of May did not allow me to. However, the time that has elapsed gave me the opportunity to deeply ponder upon the story, which leads me to my next post.