The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

No. of pages: 607
Rating: 9/10

Synopsis: Toru Okada's cat has disappeared and this has unsettled his wife, who is herself growing more distant every day. Then there are the increasingly explicit telephone calls he has started receiving. As this compelling story unfolds, the tidy suburban realities of Okada's vague and blameless life - spent cooking, reading, listening to jazz and opera and drinking beer at the kitchen table - are turned inside out, and he embarks on a bizarre journey, guided (however obscurely) by a succession of characters, each with a tale to tell.

Review: When Toru and Kumiko's cat disappears it's the start of a very bizarre journey for Toru. The people he meets are varied and interesting, but can they help him find what he's looking for?

I loved this book, it was such a refreshing change from anything I've ever read before. Obviously the Japanese culture is quite different to ours here, and I loved the mysticism of the spirits and being able to move out of your body for a period of time. The characters were my favourite aspect of the story, they were so random and quite bizarre at times, but they were great fun to read about and get to know. In particular my favourites were Creta Kano, May Kasahara and Cinnamon Akasaka, although I really did feel like each character brought something important to the story. My only dislikes were that it was a tad too long, and it felt like I was reading it forever and seemingly never making progress, and also that some of the longer memory passages were a bit too long too, and I found myself losing concentration a bit. But other than that, it was a fantastic book, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone looking to read something a bit different.
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