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The wind-up bird chronicle
1998
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Awards
1999 - International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award nominee
1998 - Reference and User Service Association (RUSA) Notable Book--Fiction
Characters
Toru Okada (Male), Paralegal, Japanese
Genre
Psychological
Magic realism
Fiction
Topics
Husbands and wives
Alienation
Self-discovery
Setting
Tokyo, Japan - Asia
Time Period
1990s -- 20th century
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Kumiko Okada has a satisfying career and comes from a wealthy family. Toru, her husband, is a lawyer. Little mars this young Tokyo couple's life other than the disappearance of their cat. From that minor event, however, their life together devolves into a confusing web of intrigue. Kumiko disappears, telling Toru not to look for her. Then a collection of mystics, clairvoyants, and healers enter Toru's life. Reeling, he begins to spend hours in meditation at the bottom of a dry well, becoming a healer of sorts, until his work brings him into conflict with Kumiko's powerful brother-in-law‘a conflict cast in moral terms, with Kumiko's soul in the balance. This very long journey is much less magical than simply strained. There are detours into the history of Japan's occupation of Manchuria and accounts of Japanese prisoners' lives in Siberian coal mines. Though interesting in parts, taken as a whole, this latest from Murakami (Dance, Dance, Dance, LJ 1/94) labors diligently toward some larger message but fails in the attempt.‘Paul E. Hutchison, Bellefonte, Pa. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Amazingly long, incredibly pricey, wildly experimental, often confusing but never boring, Murakami's most famous novel has been brought to audio life with extreme dedication: by Naxos, a company that regularly wins prizes, and by a reader with an uncommon combination of skills. Degas is already a Murakami veteran, having read the audio version of A Wild Sheep Chase (Naxos), and has worked on radio, stage and even cartoon voice (including Mr. Bean). He catches the constantly changing mental landscape of Murakami's fertile imagination--which moves from detective story to explicit sexual fantasy, heartbreaking Japanese WWII historical flashback, everyday details of married life (cooking, shopping and pet care) and even the occasional burst of satiric humor. Degas treats it all with the clarity and calmness of a very deep, very still pool. Certainly not for everyone's taste or budget, but anyone interested in this important author will find something to enlighten them. Available as a Vintage paperback (Reviews, Aug. 18. 1997). (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.
Summary
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force--and one of Haruki Murakami's most acclaimed and beloved novels.<br> <br> In a Tokyo suburb, a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat--and then for his wife as well--in a netherworld beneath the city's placid surface. As these searches intersect, he encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists. Gripping, prophetic, and suffused with comedy and menace, this is an astonishingly imaginative detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets from Japan's forgotten campaign in Manchuria during World War II.
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