14 May 2013

The Wind-up Bird Chronicle

After slogging my way through IQ84, I read The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. I enjoyed this book more for some reason, especially the Manchurian war episodes. The evil brother-in-law character strikes me as very underdeveloped, but the thematic symbolic elements (the scar, the wind-up bird, and so on) are tantalizing and seem to work at some level. Murakami's at his best in this and his other works when his characters go off onto some seemingly unimportant tangent. I was surprised to come across so many motifs that re-emerge in IQ84. (One of the characters--Ushikawa--has even been recycled.) And then there's the well, which appears prominently in the beginning of Norwegian Wood.

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