Sunday, May 27, 2012

Book review - "The Wind-up Bird Chronicle"

"The Wind-up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami
My grade: B+

I must start with a disclaimer: it took me two months, or so, to read this book due to my having a baby in January and, very unfortunately, not having enough time to devote to great books as a result of that. No book should be spanned over such a long period of time, and most definitely, not this one. This fact definitely took away from my experience of this book. Having said that, though, I still see important setbacks.

Straying from the other works that I have read, Murakami adds a touch of romance to this novel that I find uncharacteristic, unnecessary and somewhat unbelievable. I struggle to understand the purpose of entangling the romantic story into the overall one. As with all Murakami's novels, this novel is relatively complex and has several different layers to it for the reader to untangle. At some point, however, I found myself asking whether Murakami controls the 'creative process', or if the story just writes itself. There is a thin line between abstract art and uncontrolled non-art, which is abstract just for the sake of being abstract. I get a feeling that Murakami loses control of the process at some point in time, and has no idea himself what the message is and what the novel is all about. And this is something that turns up relatively consistently (for me) in his works. I tend, therefore, to say that his works are underdeveloped and raw. But most definitely full of very interesting ideas! For me, still, very much worth the read.

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