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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

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Visible Empire
Hannah Pittard
The Deptford Trilogy
Robertson Davies
Life on Mars
Jennifer Brown
The Family Under the Bridge
Natalie Savage Carlson

Kafka on the Shore

Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel Kafka on the Shore was a highly enjoyable read. I was pulled along by the story, finding it difficult to put it down. The characters were captivating. The language was vivid and beautiful. I really liked this book.So why only three stars? Well, perhaps it is my own lack of faith I am judging here. Kafka... is magical: there is a guy who steals the souls of cats so that he can make a magical flute which helps him to dominate the world, as well as raining leeches and a "fart" disguised as Colonel Sanders who also masquerades as a pimp. There is even a Lost-like forest filled with the whispers of ghosts, an unexplained village, and people which at one point are called "others." There is no end to that which is unbelievable which in Murakami's hands almost seems believable.Almost. I was able to buy the unexplained for quite sometime, but about three-quarters of the way through, I lost my faith. It just went too far for too long. That's not to say I still didn't enjoy what I read after that--I did still want to know how it was going to end. But it had lost its magic, and what is a story like this without magic?There are some issues with dialogue (possibly a translation issue), as well as with some of the characters not being developed to their fullest. Overall, however, Kafka on the Shore was entertaining. Very entertaining. But I felt like I was missing something... something more than a bucket of chicken. In the end, though, KFC was all I wanted, and, sadly, all I could believe in.