This is another book that I’ve got a lot from on a second reading. The narrative veers between 15 year old runaway Kafka and the elderly Nakata, a simple man who works as a cat finder, but finds himself pulled away from home on a journey. Their stories are linked, but how?
I was completely absorbed every time I picked this up, and definitely neglected my fair share of the household duties! Since my last reading I had completely forgotten about the character of Nakata, so rediscovering his story was a lot of fun. As always the secondary characters are completely weird and wonderful, and add tons to the story without distracting from the main narrative.
I think this is a fantastic example of Murakami’s work – it has a fast paced, engaging plot but at the same time it has lashings of his surreal, metaphysical side. It’s a top contender for being my favourite Murakami novel (I also love After Dark) and I think it’s a great way to introduce yourself to his work. A lot of people start with The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, because it’s so well known, or Norwegian Wood, because it’s so accessible, but for me Kafka is the perfect blend of accessibility and that unmistakeable Murakami style.