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kafka on the shore
(海辺のカフカ, Umibe no Kafuka)

First published in Japan by Shinchosa (2002)

English translator Phillip Gabriel

Paperback: 516 pages
Publisher: Harvill Press

Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Knopf

Buy from Amazon US

Tusquets Editor (Sep 2008)


As I already explaned, I don't have any form. I'm a conceptual metaphysical object.

excerpt available from the Random House site


"Kafka on the Shore" follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down. Their parallel odysseys are enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerising dramas. Cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghostlike pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since WWII. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle. Murakami's new novel is at once a classic tale of quest, but it is also a bold exploration of mythic and contemporary taboos, of patricide, of mother-love, of sister-love. Above all it is an entertainment of a very high order.


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reviews / articles

2005 Knopf cover design details from designer Chip Kidd

Subconscious Tunnels Haruki Murakami’s dreamlike new novel.New Yorker review by John Updike

'Kafka on the Shore': Reality's Cul-de-Sacs, By LAURA MILLER, New York Times, February 6, 2005

Master of the ordinary - Haruki Murakami's latest novel unveils a world in which the fantastic is trite and the everyday profound.- Salon review by Charles Taylor

Curiouser and curiouser - The Spectator review by Philip Hensher

Convergence of separate odysseys - San Francisco Chronicle review by Gideon Lewis-Kraus

The implosion of truth - The Guardian review by Catherine Humble

How to have sex with a ghost - The Observer review by Tim Adams

Kill me or the cat gets it - (another) Guardian review by David Mitchell

As the Crow Flies - Washington Post review by Steven Moore

The Onion review by Scott Tobias

Dreams of Cats - Daily Telegraph review by Theo Tait

Sydney Morning Herald review by Michelle Griffin

'Where Fish Fall From the Sky' by SARAH CHUNG, from LA Weekly, Feb 4th 2005

Falling under the spell of the West, of a cemetery, of a family of misfits by Michael Shelden, Baltimore Sun

Korean Times review by Seo Dong-shin

Odyssey of lost souls - Japan Today review by Henry Hilton

about.com review by Mark Flanagan

The Times, review by Hugo Barnacle

The wikipedia page on the novel

librarything.com page for the novel

The Price of Falling Fish - interesting review by Dylan Wolf

The Minnesota Reads review by Jodi Chromey

"A drift in a Universe in Flux Like Some Big FedEx Box" By JANET MASLIN - The New York Times

"A great novel with talking cats and fish raining from the sky" by Malcolm Jones - Newsweek

Surreal fantasy in 'Kafka on the Shore' By Derek Berry from The Decatur Daily

Currents of destiny run through 'Shore' By Julie Wittes Schlack from the Boston Globe

Wind-Down Bird - New signals from Planet Murakami: Cat communication, fishy rain, and some moralizing, by Paul Lafarge from the Village Voice

Kill me or the cat gets it - With its parade of UFOs, patricides and spectral worlds, Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore will divide devotees and detractors, says David Mitchell

How to have sex with a ghost by Tim Adams - review from The Observer

A Sure Path...To Where? The Oxonian Review by Mary Carr

Haruki Murakami and the workings of fate - Grumpy Old Bookman review by Michael Allen

mottled.com review by Anil Cherukupalli

Murakami's `Kafka on the Shore' Is a Surreal Pop Tragedy by Manuela Hoelterhoff  from Bloomberg

Ghostly spirits and feline chats by Ludovic Hunter-Tilney from the Financial Times

Haruki Murakami tells runaway's shattering story - Sunday, January 09, 2005 By Anne Jolis from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Brief review from The Asian Review of Books

The Complete Review's Page

There's brief info available at the UK Random House site

Time Asia article on Murakami and Kafka on the Shore

Another brief review from Giornale Nuovo

Borzoi article from Random House

The New Canon review by Ted Gioia

Review of the Korean edition in Seoul Selection.com

Brief notes from tangledweb