The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami: Book Review

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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

3 Stars
There’s a lot going on in this book. Basically, Toru Okada has just quit his job in Tokyo and all kinds of strange people enter and leave his life while all kinds of strange things happen to him. To say more would give away some things.

I finished this book, put it down, and told my husband, “Don’t ask me what I just read, because I couldn’t tell you.” The style of the book is very dreamy, and there are so many dreams and what-might-have-beens that I was never entirely sure what was really happening and what wasn’t. Parts of it were a little graphic, both in terms of violence and sex. That didn’t bother me too much, but I usually read books that have a more concrete story line. As someone else put it, you don’t read this book, you float through it. I kept waiting for everything to come together and get explained, but that never happened.

I read this book for the Constant Reader book group on Goodreads. It’s not a book I would have chosen on my own. Honestly, if I had chosen it on my own, I would have put it down, probably before I’d even finished 100 pages. I don’t regret reading it because I feel like I was pulled outside of my box, and I really think I’ll be chewing over a lot of the lingering questions for a long time. But I’m not planning on picking up more of this author’s books either.

Reviewed September 22, 2008

Read an excerpt.

Find author Haruki Murakami on his website and Facebook.

Buy The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle at


Friday Flashback Reviews are a weekly feature here on The Introverted Reader. These are old reviews I wrote on GoodReads. Thanks to Angieville and her Retro Friday Reviews for the inspiration and encouragement!

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore located in beautiful downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

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