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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Kafka Tamura runs away from home at 15, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. 

The ageing Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down. 

As their parallel odysseys unravel, cats converse with people, fish tumble from the sky, a ghost-like pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night, a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since World War II. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle - one of many which combine to create an elegant and dreamlike masterpiece.

©2005 Haruki Murakami (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Wonderful.... Magical and outlandish." (Daily Mail)

"Cool, fluent and addictive." (Daily Telegraph)

"Hypnotic, spellbinding." (The Times)

What listeners say about Kafka on the Shore

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Lived up to all the hype

This book, just wow. I can't explain it but somehow Murakami's writing always makes me notice the everyday, the little habits people have and all that comes with it. How we're all living our own separate lives that intertwine sometimes. Beautiful imagery and an unusual story weaving fantasy and reality together. There were a few questionable moments but overall it lived up to all the hype. Where was this book when I was in my 20s ❤️📖

2 people found this helpful

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Incredible 🌠

I'm in love with this book. It was everything and more. I've felt every emotion to happiness, mesmerised, surprised, sadness,shocked , confused, amazed... so many more.

I can't wait to listen/read more of Haruki Murakami.

2 people found this helpful

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Kafka...

It’s seldom I write a review, in fact this my second one ever; and it’s seldom I listen to a book again straight off the bat - however, I’m going in again imminently. I read the book some years back and it affected me positively. The audiobook and various narrators are perfect for the story. Kafka’s own voice is beautiful and tender. The book, for me, has a thread of magic running through it... yes, there is sadness but mostly connection... a stringing together and intertwining of lives, their knock on affect, and the result thereafter. There’s philosophy, psychology and quantum physics at work in this plot; historical cover-ups, and the fall-out of this. Possibly in my top 3 of fiction, I wholeheartedly recommend Kafka on the shore.

1 person found this helpful

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Very out of touch

Sexist and very naively written. Very painful to listen to all the terrible scenes of violence and rape, the performance and whispering makes it even more hard to listen to. Appropriating the greek myth of oedipus doesn’t really add anything other than some fake sense of ‘cultured’ reason/excuse for all the sexism, violence, rape and ableism.

1 person found this helpful

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Mesmerising story

The whole book read like a dream, it was captivating and I couldn't put it down. I only knock 1* for the unnecessary sexual details that at times made me uncomfortable to listen to.

1 person found this helpful

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Somewhat it feels like a puzzle with holes

It was fluid well written. Also it was too naturalistic for me. But after I 've finished I felt plotholes. Also the ending disappointed me. And this Oedipus line wasn' t added a bit to the story.

1 person found this helpful

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Weird, surreal, intricate, warm, emotional.

There are just SO MANY flavours to this book that it's really hard to describe or review it. I did not like the sex bits , but the rest of it was simply stunning, to say the least. Having read it once, I'm ready to read it all over again. Missing the gentle voice of Nataka and the young, eager, confused thoughts of Kafka. All the characters are like family now, and I think I understand that human emotion and decisions cannot be simply black or white. I wish there was a sequel.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Great narration, but no plot

I'm conflicted about this book. I like the way Murakami writes. He has a way of keeping you engaged even when literally nothing happens and I was definitely interested until the last chapter to see where this is going. Unfortunately the answer is ..nowhere. If someone asked me to describe the plot, I would really struggle to say more than two sentences. My overall feeling is that I lost 20 hours of my life. Although the narrators were excellent.

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Not for me

I've read a few of Murakami's books a few years ago and I decided to give this one a try. At first, I did like it, especially one part of the story, the one with Nakata. Suddenly it was really unpleasant and annoying. I did finish it though, but it was really really hard for me.
People tend to defend Murakami claiming that "we don't get him". Well, I'm sorry to burst any bubbles here but the rape scenes in the book are not helping at all just by placing them as part of a dream and it seems like the author is trying to make us forget the fact that he describes rape scenes with empathy, just by adding Oedipus myth now and then.
Also, the author was going on and on about the 15-year-old boy's workout routine and we had to listen again and again to how he felt after all the sex. But hey, maybe that's just me and someone would like to listen to these things.
There are so many good books out there. So, no more Murakami for me, thank you.

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Surreal and captivating

This was my first read of Murakami work. i found myself immersed in the reading experience of this book. loved how the story evolved throughout the chapters. i guess it's not for every reader, as this book brings more questions than answers. The surreal happenings intertwine so beautifully with reality as we perceive it, and for me that is what makes this book so captivating. highly recommend it

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  • Jeanne Cooper
  • 13-07-21

Best Narration

The voices and acting is so good! It captures the atmosphere and suspect the narrators made the book even more interesting. This is my first audio book, when I first click on sample, I was hooked by the memorising voice of Kafka, and used my credit immediately. I think there were parts of the books that would be a little slow without the narrators, and I feel the narrators brought the characters to life (especially for the characters Nakata and Hoshino). I don't think I would be able to finish this book reading it on my own (I have very short attention span, not easy for me to stay engaged for books that are longer than around 350 pages). So thank you Audible, and the entire cast of voices! I can 'read' long books now with your help and So glad I get to experience a literary work like Kafka on the Shore!