Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Wind Up Bird Chronicle

ねじまき鳥クロニクル Japanese Title : Nejimaki Dori Kuronikuru, which is pretty fun to say
村上春樹 (the authors name)

I just finished the book "The Wind Up Bird Chronicle," by Haruki Murakami. Clocking in at just over 600 pages, I've been working on this project since I boarded the plane for Taiwan. It can be meandering at times, seemingly endlessly, but reading through those parts of the book felt comfortable, like the subconscious numbness of a daydream. The most amazing thing about it was the prose, which, despite being translated from Japanese, kind of glowed and shimmered. Kind of like reading drugs. Not fuck you up type of drugs but like, I dunno, but some kind of fast acting, antidepressant stimulant combo. Easy to swallow and consume, but precise, and superbly detailed. I've never had a book where on page 600 I was able to recall events from the first few chapters. The words and images just stuck in my mind.

It's strange that I'm using such synesthetic language to write about this book, but I'll run with it. Dreams are an important theme throughout, and the way that was communicated to me through how the words "felt," so to speak. They felt good. The way a real good book ought to feel.

Well, anyway the book is about this guy, and his wife runs away, and some crazy shit happens, and he meets some crazy people, and most of the time you're not really sure what is the deal with these people, but for some reason, it doesn't matter in the slightest. There's some Japanese history involved, as well as a dose of politics and religion, but nothing too heady. But none of that is particularly important. The story is kind of like the thread that ties all the words and ideas together. But man, I wish I could express myself like that.

It's rare that I get the opportunity to really read a book, cover to cover. I guess part of me feels like it's a waste of time, unfortunately. And although I am WAY behind in Harry Potter, the book was definitely worth the time.



Dylan said...

That's funny that you're reading that, I was just on vacation this week, and my friend who was staying in the same cabin as me was reading that book. Sounds pretty crazy. Something about a lady making out with a scar on some guy's face.

Cindi said...

I "dunno" Tom. I think that, read a second time, this book would continue to evoke meaning. I too just finished it not too long ago. There were threads, as you mentioned, such as religion, history, politics, but there was a greater theme on life, the meaning of man. I am not sure I comprehend it totally but, intuitively I know there is more.

If you read Kafka on the Shore (which Daria also read) you will see themes and connections between the two novels, which make me wonder about the writer.

Hope you are well in Japan!