Book Reviews

Book Review: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

The Wind-Up Bird ChronicleThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“… I advised you long ago never to use your imagination. It can only cost you your life.”

It is difficult to use common words to describe this piece of art. I struggle to fathom the state of mind of any writer who is able to conjure up a tale like The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. To describe the journey I took in reading this 600+ book was ‘magical’ or ‘bizarre’ feels woefully inadequate. It simply defies the pattern and formula of modern literature, in my opinion, in a poetic and graceful manner.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is told via the point of views of a stellar cast – the placid Toru Okada, a confused teenage girl and a war veteran who had witnessed unspeakable violence in a forgotten war. Their stories are interwoven into the encounters of another string of apparently unrelated but equally intriguing characters, including a pair of sisters named Malta and Creta with seemingly supernatural powers and a mother and son named after Indian spices who helps resolve spiritual problems for the rich and privileged women of Japan.

Personally I enjoyed the journey, even though I am unable to say if I took home any new moral values or scientific learnings from this book. I gave it five stars simply because the book had me hooked from start till end without any expectations of a sound ending or a believable plot. It was in a way, meditative to read this novel.

I do not think this book is for everyone. It must certainly be approached with the broadest of open minds and even then I’d expect many to be lost in the labyrinth of nothingness.

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