“In everybody’s life, there’s a point of no return. And in a very few cases, a point where you can’t go forward anymore. And when we reach that point, all we can do is quietly accept the fact. That’s how we survive.” -Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore.

Kafka Tamura leaves his home in an attempt to escape his tyrannical father and search for clues of his missing mother and sister. But in reality, Kafka himself does not abide by the principles of liberality, in fact, he is trapped in a storm that resides inside him. Along with the remarkable cast by Haruki Murakami, a second character also goes parallel to Tamura. His name is Nakata, who had just woken up from a coma suffered during the Second World War. These two central characters deal with the traumas and dilemmas of life all the while dealing with the illusion of the world’s collision.

Muraki created 505-page magic in his novel.

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto, Japan, during the post-World War II baby boom and raised in Nishinomiya, Ashiya, and Kobe. As his father was a Buddhist priest, Murakami is well-literate in Japanese literature. Murakami himself was born around the second world war and his father too was involved in the Second Sino-Japanese War, thus, he was deeply affected by violence since childhood, which is well reflected in his novels.

Murakami grew up reading a wide range of works by European and American writers, such as Franz Kafka, Gustave Flaubert, and Charles Dickens and so was heavily influenced by Western culture. He began to write fiction when he was 29. He says that the moment he realized he could write as a “warm sensation” he could still feel in his heart.

Murakami,Kafka on the Shore

His first novel was ‘Hear the Wind Sing’ written in 1979, for which he earned the first prize in a literary contest. The book was a huge success that inspired him to write more. His novels are often short stories forged with fantasy and the magical realm. He writes about personal connections combined with artistic fantasy and Japanese history. Kafka on the Shore was published in 2002, it attracts biological attacks, military ghosts, and a possibility of the other world.

The novel won him the World Fantasy Award for Novels in 2006. It was among the “The 10 Best Books of 2005” from The New York Times. Kafka on the Shore follows the story of 15 years old boy Kafka, juggling between the reality and traumas of life. The remarkable cast of characters adds more life to the fantasy world of Murakami.

Kafka and Nakata are living parallel lives and despite their great differences, each character goes on a separate quest, yet their paths find unexpected ways to collide. Both the characters are trapped in the storms of logic and analysis that they find hard to understand yet among the sorrows, life offers them a chance to let go of their thoughts in simple yet interesting ways. For instance, Kafka befriends the librarian of an exquisite private library, who introduces him to the classical music of Schubert. While on the other side the mute Nakata finds himself communicating with cats.

This way Murakami manages to blur the lines between history and music. The journey of the characters is rich with events that are devoid of all logic and reason, creating a surrealist and almost psychedelic reading experience. Murakami beautifully manages to untangle the chaos of philosophy, art, literature, war, and violence. And though his novels give readers a chance to translate the meaning themselves, they also offer them opportunities to experience the beauty of human psychology. It could be anything for anyone like it could be love and life for some, an age story for another, or exploration of death and dimensions for the rest.

Murakami,Kafka on the Shore

By the end of the novel, readers might be left with more questions than answers, but they will have the certainty to experience feelings so complex and complicated that it will definitely encourage to read more of his works. Murakami’s work is meant to be felt and not dissected, this is the only way to understand the beauty of his stories that combines magic, fantasy, history, literature, music, and psychology. And that’s why he is a writer that needs to be read.

Yet inside the apparent chaos, you will return again and again with a different mindset lurking for a more cryptic yet simple meaning of life. Murakami fights in a different way than society to regulate our desires and responses to trauma. He is an author of sincerity deeply enclosed in the layer of personal and cultural pasts. He gives an entire generation a chance to write, this kind of sincerity is rarely seen in any other writer. Overall, Kafka On the Shore is one of the masterpieces written by him that in all sense deserve a chance to be read.

“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you.”-Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore.

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