Wednesday, August 12, 2009

the wind-up bird chronicle

I truly loved my first Murakami encounter which was"Kafka on the Shore", that book captivated me from the first page, "The Wind-up Bird Chronicle" did not. Not as completely. And while being a was a fascinating, multi layered, inventive novel, I also think there were far too many threads left unexplained, forgotten come the end.

Which was unfortunate, since Murakami's writing is a unique way of combining simplicity with refinement, magical ingenuity with harsh real life, humour with poetry, beauty and philosophy with violence, tragedy and sorrow, the surreal with the mundane. The book and all its strange characters with their different stories made me think of "Twin Peaks" - still one of the best TV-series I've ever watched - and I really don't mind a loose end here and there.

To have to slightly ponder and muse different scenarios and possibilities afterwards is always one of the best things about really great books and films I believe. But there is such a thing as too much loose ends. Add to that a truly truncated ending of a book (or film) and you get one sorely disappointed undersigned. A book, a story, the writing on the pages that shows so much promise deserves a well composed closing.

Alas, the lack of a decent ending was the main fault with Kafka above too, so perhaps that's Mr Murakami's foible; while being a truly gifted storyteller and writer he just can't make it all satisfyingly well to the finish line? He either lack the talent to wind the story, idea threads together or quite possibly he doesn't care. Or maybe I simply anticipate too much from the last pages of a book that contains such winding and depths.

Still, I do adore his style in writing, the stories, the wittiness, the strange and wonderful ideas and philosophical reasoning that permeates his books. I will definitely read more of his work - next in to-read-pile is "Norweigan Woods" - I will just have to lower my expectations of a befitting end to a story so very well told.


Wendy said...

Love Murakami too. "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles" is one of my favourites though. I've read it a few times now and, though I'm always pleasantly puzzled by the end, I just love exploring the book.
"Norwegian Wood" is my second favourite!

Pia K said...

I suppose the thoughtprovoking and exploring is the core of his books, Wendy. I just like a book to feel more... complete somehow. For that I simply have to look at other books I guess, and enjoy Murakami's for his distinct style:) Did you get that Murakami biography btw?

Wendy said...

That's the one thing I haven't read of his, actually. I've really been getting into running this summer so I'm extra keen on reading it now. Thanks for the reminder. :)

Pia K said...

Glad to be of service, Wendy:)

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