Saturday, December 12, 2009

Top 60 Novels of 2000-2009 Countdown, No. 19

"Kafka on the Shore" by Haruki Murakami

I picked up "Hard Boiled Wonderland" by chance in a bookstore in Gainesville, Fla., in the early 1990s, and I never regretted it; that was the first Murakami novel I read, and since then I've read The Windup Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore. Shore has such a wonderful plot, made more wonderful by its bewildering supernatural turns, from the man with half a soul to the truck driver charged with making sure some kind of serpent spirit remains on its own side of oblivion to the teenager on the lam who encounters the younger version of a librarian at a facility dedicated to a famous poet. With Murakami, you just need to let the plots unwind themselves, then marvel at the unusual worlds they create for you; I don't think I've read another author like him. The locales in Japan add to the fascinating atmosphere.  

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