Out of the blue, Haruki Murakami was struck with the idea of becoming a writer while watching a baseball game in his native Japan. Four decades later, he has is particularly well known for his fiction, which is tinged with magical realism.
“The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle,” follows Toru who is recently unemployed. Toru lacks motivation and direction, until he sets out in search of his missing wife Kumiko and his cat (who doubles as a symbol of his failing marriage). Along the way, Toru encounters an increasingly bizarre cast of characters and dilemmas, as he topples down the rabbit hole (quite literally.) A large part of the story takes place at the bottom of a dried-up well, where Toru’s dreams become indistinguishable from his reality.
Ripe with loose ends and questions, you can’t begin to fathom where the story is headed. Murakami has often spoken of the theme of two realities in his work: an everyday world and a weirder, supernatural one. If you’re a fan of tales that blur the fantastic with normal life, this book should be at the top of your list.
Keena KimmelOwner of White Rabbit Books and Curiosities