As I stated when I read Kafka on the Shore, I was going to re-read The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, the main reason being that I felt that I didn’t absorb the last half of the book properly, mainly because I felt that one section of the book dragged and couldn’t keep up the interest to really get into the last 300 pages or so.
Since I was off to France for a weekend and had tons of travelling time, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to be reacquainted with this novel. Luckily I made it to the end and am quite satisfied that I managed.
Toru Okada is a normal guy, he’s out of work and lives off his wife, which he loves dearly, but other than that life is pretty normal. That is until he receives a mysterious phone call which sets off a chain of events and encounters with some eccentric characters, who all have some sort of life changing past history . Eventually Okada’s wife runs away and Toru resolves that he must know the reason why she did so. This leads him into a twisted web of complex situations, puzzles and Japanese history which change Okada’s philosophies of life.
Although I preferred Kafka on the Shore, I’ll definitely say that Wind-up Bird… is Murakami’s ‘deepest’ novel and touches mainly on his country’s past atrocities . Plus the characters are very believable despite the situation they are placed in. Oh and Malta plays a big role as well!
I must admit though that the bit where Okada spends a couple of days in a well STILL is boring and ruins the pace and absurdity of the novel but survive that and you’ll great rewarded with some eye opening passages and jaw dropping plot twists.
One can easily see why this book is considered Murakami’s masterpiece but I feel that Kafka was more humorous and consistent.