Kafka on the Shore
Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore was one of the books I took with me last year (and subsequently didn't read). I finished it in a bit more than a week, which is quite a personal achievement for a 400-something pages book. I forgot all about the synopses I've read, and it was for the best: the review simply told too much about the story to come, just b/c it is simply so hard to describe an initial situation from the first few chapters of the book. Does it make sense? Some reviews on the official author website in North America went as far as using story elements from the 3rd quarter of the book! I won't even go into details about the main characters - best is to take the book without prior knowledge about the story, except that the boy at the beginning took "Kafka" as a name. The book takes you for a hell of a ride, a bit like Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, which I actually borrowed during my 2002 trip to HK, and read on and off without ever going past the first few chapters.
No jazz bar, but yes, some student protests. It's Murakamesque - reality intertwined with portions of dream. Some characters live in the same realm of logic as the reader; others just indiscriminately bend along with the bending reality.
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