Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Caroline vs. Kafka on the Shore

The last few months I was living in Ottawa, I got really into reading on public transit.  I used to just zone out and play with my phone, but toting an actual book around made my commutes so much more fulfilling.  Now that I'm in Tokyo my commute times have increased dramatically, so I have way more time to read.

I recently purchased my first book by Haruki Murakami (the Foreign Books floor at chain bookstore Kinokuniya is the place of dreams), and blasted through the 514 pages.  There were a few different story lines that didn't all converge until almost the end of the book, which I'm told is a very Japanese style of writing.  I'd also heard Murakami is a fabulous writer, and this book made me believe it.  It was long and mysterious and at times fantastical, and I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone looking for a new style of storytelling (though be warned - there is some graphic imagery).

Here are some of my favourite passages...

And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive.  You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over.  But one thing is certain.  When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in.  That's what this storm's all about. (p.5)
Anyway, my point is that it's really hard for people to live their lives alone. (p.49)
Whether you're smart or dumb, can read or can't, whether you've got a shadow or not, once the time comes, everybody passes on. (p.65)
And by the way, the term 'gender' was originally used to indicate grammatical gender.  My feeling is that the word 'sex' is more accurate in terms of indicating physical sexual difference.  Using 'gender' here is incorrect.  To put a linguistic fine point upon it. (p.235)
Nakata wasn't at all sure what he meant, but went ahead and took the bus as far as Shinjuku.  But when he got there he was overwhelmed.  The massive station was jammed with people, and he had trouble moving through the crowds. (p.243)
I search for the right words.  First of all I look for the boy named Crow, but he's nowhere to be found.  I'm left to choose them on my own, and that takes time. (p.325)
Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves.  So anyone who's in love gets sad when they think of their lover.  It's like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven't seen in a long time. (p.389)
I try not to think about it.  The more you think about illusions, the more they'll swell up and take on form.  And no longer be an illusion. (p.503-4)



1 comment:

  1. You should read Norwegian Wood next! It is such a beautiful book!