Kafka on the Shore

Kelsea Bond

Kafka, an estranged and philosophical teenager who is frequently consulted by his conceptual alter-ego named Crow, is told that he will one day kill his father.

Nakata, a complacent old man who enjoys eel and conversing with stray cats, finds himself lured inside the house of a man called Johnnie Walker who hoards decapitated cat heads inside a freezer.
Kafka flees his home, seeking the refuge of a far away library. He awakes one night in an unfamiliar public park, covered in someone else’s blood.

Nakata possesses the unblemished purity of a child, yet finds himself brutally stabbing Johnnie Walker to death. Blood spatters everywhere.

Kafka is given a newspaper article – Koichi Tamura, famous sculptor and Kafka’s father, is dead.

Alternating chapters between these two strangely entangled people, along with supporting characters Oshima the charming transsexual librarian, some highly competent cats, and others, Murakami leads us through the mysterious labyrinth that is the human subconscious. Recommended for any fan of thought-provoking symbolism, the absolute bizarreness of the plot is comparable to that of Hayao Miyazaki’s animated films such as Castle in the Sky or Princess Monanoke.  Kafka on the Shore is not only a painfully beautiful novel, but a penetrating endeavor into redefining reality, love, and what it means to read a truly meaningful book.