Ex Libris Kirkland

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Subtitle Nejimaki-dori kuronikuru
Translator Jay Rubin
First Written 1995
Genre Fiction
Origin Japan
Publisher Vintage
ISBN-10 0679775439
ISBN-13 978-0679775430
My Copy paperback
First Read December 01, 2010

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

Oh, and a quick note: how awesome is it that the Japanese word for Chronicle is Kuronikuru?

Noted on December 1, 2010

Six hundred pages of candy-coated dread.

When I first read this, back in college, it seemed: fascinating, light-hearted, meandering, and memorable for the protagonist remarkable calm. The zen-like meditations in a well inspired me to seek out high or low places and sit there quietly. And then I re-read it, nearly ten years later.

Oh, the difference. Now it reads to me as if something was damaged in the world, as if Murakami's creation has a pervasive sense of dread. The protagonist's acceptance of his oppressive, foreboding circumstances make me question his sanity.

Don't get me wrong; I actually still love The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and I still love Murakami's other work as well. There is no doubt that it's still a masterpiece and still worth reading - but my 180-degree turn on this the most salient note in this re-read.

Noted on December 1, 2010

Taking a breath, I sat on the floor of the well, with my back against the wall. I closed my eyes and let my body become accustomed to the place. All right then, I thought: here I am in the bottom of a well.

Quoted on December 11, 2010

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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