When a friend asked me to suggest a book to read, a storm of mackerels rushed through my head.
No, I didn’t loose the plot. The mackerels are just a flashback from one of the most compelling, weird and ecstatic novels I have read in the past few years:
Kafka on the Shore
by Haruki Murakami, translated by Phillip Gabriel
656pp, Harvill, £12.99
Set in rural and urban Japan, the plot unveils in two tranches.
In the first one, the 15 year-old Kafka Tamura runs away from Tokio and from his father, who kills cats to make flutes with their souls. Kafka ends up in the Japanese provinces where he befriends cross-gender librarian Oshima and the mysterious Mrs. Saeki, who offer him an employment and place to stay.
The second tranche of the plot describes how a group of wartime evacuees glimpsed a UFO before falling unconscious. All the evacuees cam back to their wits after a few hours except for Nakata who remains in a coma for weeks before waking up bestowed with cat-talking powers. Many years later, Nakata comes across Kafka’s father, while he works as a “cat finder”.
The story continues in the most bizarre, entertaining way.
I won't give away the ending as that *would* be a crime. You will have to read it and, trust me, you will be captured by the twisted and enthralling world of one of the most acclaimed modern japanese authors.
Read this book if you liked: 'One hundred years of solitude' by Gabriel Garcia Marquez