Author: Haruki Murakami
Date Started: 16-Jan
Date Finished: 07-Feb
“Kafka on the Shore is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom.”
The boy named Crow
Sakura – the girl Kafka met on the bus on his way to Shikoku
Oshima – the Librarian in the Komura Library
Miss Saeki – the head librarian
Hoshino – the man who went with and help Nakata on his way to Shikoku
Colonel Sanders – not really a person per se, but he helped Hoshino help Nakata 🙂
Sada – Oshima’s brother
It’s like the story of Oedipus Rex but with so much twist. Kafka’s story has similarities with that of Oedipus Rex’s. Just like Oedipus’ fate, no matter how far Kafka ran away from home (Oedipus was sent away as a newborn) to avoid fulfilling his destiny, he still, ended up meeting his fate. Lesson is that the more we try to run away from our fate, the closer we get to meeting it. We may keep on running away to avoid things but some things will find its way to us no matter how hard we try.
I liked that the book mentioned about Oedipus Rex. It’s my favorite story in Greek Mythology so it was actually only then that I came to understand Kafka’s father’s prophecy.
The story did not explain why Nakata was the chosen one to open and close the entrance stone. Why among the students during his era, he was the only one that was significantly affected by the 1945 incident on the Rice Bowl Hill. Or even how come Kafka’s father had a prophecy about Kafka’s future. Who is Kafka’s father really – a sculptor or a cat killer? I still need to know the connection between Nakata and Kafka. I just could not connect their lives even after I have finished reading the book.
The truth is, while in the middle of reading this book, I am confused about whether or not I like it. But when I finished reading, I finally appreciated the story and thought that it’s actually a good one. Maybe not the best, but it’s a good story- so much to learn from. That said, if you haven’t read the book, I hope I was able to help you decide whether or not you’d want to try it.
Oh my life is changing every day.
“Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive. But inside our heads there’s a little room where we store those memories. A room like the stacks in this library. And to understand the workings of our own heart we have to keep on making new reference cards. We have to dust things off every once in a while, let in fresh air, change the water in the flower vases. In other words, you’ll live forever in your own private library.” ~pg.485