The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami

If you’re reading a book by Murakami and someone asks you what it’s about, say “It’s hard to explain.”

Toru’s wife disappears and he searches for her by sitting in pitch darkness in a dried-up well, where he also accesses a dream world. He is contacted by a mixed-bag of oddballs: a retired military man, a woman who knows things, a psychological tailor and her mute son, a teenage neighbour who works for a wigmaker, not to mention his wife’s evil bother. These characters seem scarred or they have icky monsters deep inside their psyches.

It was too dark for me.

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Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

In one thread of this story, Kafka, a mature 15-year-old, runs away from home to escape a dark prophecy. He is intelligent but troubled. So he hides in a library where he meets a woman who lives in her memories.
The other thread is Nakata, an elderly simpleton, who is neither intelligent, nor troubled.  Mr. Nakata can talk to cats. As he searches for a lost cat, he finds himself drawn despite himself into a courageous quest. Can Kafka run from his destiny? Or must he and Nakata act out their destinies to keep the universe from going awry?

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