Monday, April 15, 2013

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - Book One Update

There are some authors who have long intimidated me (Pynchon, Joyce, Proust). Haruki Murakami was not on my list...until I started blogging and hearing so much about his books. So many people rave about them but at the same time the message has been very clear to me, "these books are very hard to understand." I just wasn't sure I wanted to make time for a book that was going to be that much work.

Then up pops Ti of Book Chatter with the idea for a readalong of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Ti LOVES Murakami which I take to mean that she also "gets" Murakami. Since I respect her opinions about books so much, and since I'm clearly still a teenaged-girl who can be swayed by peer pressure, I decide to join in.

After finishing Book One, 176 pages into the book, I'm more than pleasantly surprised. Murakami's writing style is clean, approachable, not in the least bit intimidating. Do I have any idea where this book is going? Can't say that I do, which is a good indication that I'm enjoying this book. Usually this far into a book, I want to have an idea where this road is leading. Am I picking up on all of the symbolism? I'm not sure, although I think I'm picking up on a lot more of it than I expected to.The story is certainly odd and would be off-putting to some readers (phone sex, prostitution, war) but I'm intrigued and quite enjoying the characters and the flow of the story.

Ti tweeted about an interview The Paris Review did with Murakami the other day which I highly recommend if you are at all interesting in reading Murakami. Understanding the man better and his writing process makes me feel a lot better about what I'm getting from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. 

Be warned: you may want to be at home while you read this one - Murakami talks a lot about food and beer!

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