Well this was the latest choice at our book club. The general consensus was that everybody liked it (the person who didn’t, disliked it so much that she chose not to come). When asked to sum it up in one word, one of them given was ‘surreal’. Well this is certainly the case, talking cats, space ships, time warped forests but I would say the book starts bizarrely and becomes even more so once you reach the second half.
The story is about a Japanese boy who calls himself Kafka who decides to run away from his Dad to Shikoku. There he meets some interesting characters in an amazing library. It is whilst here that he has lots of time to think about his father’s prediction that he will have sex both with his mother and his sister (yes, the old Oedipus thing again). His story runs parallel to that of Nakata, an old man who has lost him memory and mental faculties after a strange incident during World War II where a group of school children mysteriously fall into a coma.
I realise that this doesn’t really explain very well the story but it is quite strange, especially once Johnny Walker and Colonel Sanders enter the story. However I enjoyed reading this, but not as much as Norwegian Wood which it was impossible to read without singing ‘I once had a girl, or should I say she once had me’. Kafka has its own song too but you have to make up your own words.