The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami (born January 12, 1949, ) is a contemporary Japanese writer. His books and stories have been bestsellers in Japan as well as internationally, with his work being translated into 50 languages and selling millions of copies. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (being three books in one volume: The Thieving Magpie, Bird as Prophet, The Birdcatcher) is an amalgam of detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets of World War II. This translation is by Jay Rubin and is in collaboration with the author.

The summary is as follows. In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo. As these searches intersect, Okada encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists: a psychic prostitute; a malevolent yet mediagenic politician; a cheerfully morbid sixteen-year-old-girl; and an aging war veteran who has been permanently changed by the hideous things he witnessed during Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria.

There should be no disguising the fact that The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a work of large scope and ambition. It is a challenging read. That said, its prophetic comedy and dark menace may grip you as it has many other readers.

Enquire at your local library or consult  for full bibliographic detail.

624 pages in Vintage paperback

First published 1994 (in Japanese)

ISBN 978-0099448792

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Haruki Murakami

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