Novel Reactions: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

I think I’ve just found my new favorite Murakami book: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I’d been holding off on reading it for a while now because (1) I tend to feel overwhelmed whenever I read Murakami’s books; and (2) the book is 607 pages. But due to a self-imposed deadline (see Until Next Time, Books without Borders), I pushed myself to read and finish the book, so that I can pass it on.

And what a worthwhile read it was. I admit that I didn’t immediately get attached to the main character, but he grew on me. The world of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is very typical of Murakami (sort of out of this world), but it wasn’t as crazy as his other worlds. I think the length of the book (again, 607 pages!!!) allowed for this intricate world building. Additionally, the pace was well set, and the story did not feel long nor rushed at all.

I was also a bit hesitant to read this book at first because it’s about a man looking for his lost cat. …But that only starts off the plot, and there is really a lot more to the story. There was one character whose role I couldn’t quite grasp, and, in result, I didn’t like this character as much. That’s my only “eh” comment, and I’m thinking it might also be a personal preference kind of thing.

Story and world-wise, this book has made it to the top of my Murakami list. (In case you’re curious, the other two in my top three are Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.)