At the age of 15, Kafka Tamura runs away from home to escape the oedipal prophecy his father placed on him and to search for his mother and sister. He finds himself at a library in Takamatsu where he befriends one of the workers, Oshima, who helps him secure a job and living space in the library itself.
As a child growing up during World War II, Satoru Nakata mysteriously loses his memory and grows up living on subsidies from the government, as well as the small gifts he receives finding lost cats. But after a gruesome event, all Nakata knows is he has to travel over a big bridge to set things right, bringing Nakata and Kafka’s lives closer than they could imagine.
First off I will say that Kafka on the Shore is not about the writer Franz Kafka. The main character chooses Kafka as his alias when he runs away from home in honor of Franz Kafka, but that is as far as the writer comes into the story. Now that that is out of the way, Kafka on the Shore was a beautifully written book. With the odd chapters about Kafka and the even chapters about Nakata, Murakami keeps the story moving and shows what is happening to both characters during the same period of time in an effective and non-confusing way.
After finishing Kafka on the Shore, I’m intrigued to read more of Murakami’s work. His writing was imaginative and entertaining, and I would definitely recommend his work to anyone looking for a good fiction story.