The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

Imagine a chill room at a rave. The pounding music with the repetitive but interesting sound samples, the rythmn and the heat are pervasive but still slightly removed. The pillows are beneath your dance-exhausted body and you stare at the weird visual projection provided.

Your mind is open and relaxed, ready to ponder the slow changing light-shapes metamorphasizing across the screens. You are ready to think about the relationship between circles, squares and sine waves–the universe and everything. Themes and dissonances flow, merge and separate in your consciousness. You are relaxed, receptive and passive in that moment.

That’s what reading Murakami feels like for me. Except I don’t feel passive. His book,The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, has some of the most far out things happen. Toru Okada, the hero of the story, lives the most ordinary life in which occur the most surprising and illogical experiences.

And yet, like a chill room, I feel totally open to the story. I do not feel passive about it though. I could not put the book down. More than 600 pages, and I could not put it down until the end. I am still thinking about it days later.

There is an emotional truth to the story that lodges deep. The love of Toru Okada and his wife for one another is so poignant, while being completely devoid of sentimentality.

And the book’s struggle to write around the extra-reality of human spirit or experience leaves me very thoughtful about what it means to be human.

I am going to find more of this guy’s books. As an avid reader, this blew my mind away. If you are looking for a good chewy book, this will not disappoint.

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