The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel (Vintage International) (Paperback)

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Set in 1984 Tokyo, this murky, allegorical story is set within the world of Toru Okada - speculated to be Haruki Murakami's alter ego - and his perils discovering what lies within the well of his own consciousness: a deep chasm where he is never alone. This slow burner manifested itself from Murakami's devoted practice of waking up at 4:00 am every day to write four to six hours of what he calls "dedicated work." In the afternoons, Murakami either runs a 10k, or swims 1500m (sometimes both) before spending the rest of his day reading or listening to music. A son of two literature professors who specialized in William Faulkner's honky-dory jargon, Murakami is himself a sort of word smith to the likes of Faulkner's deep, dreamy moral paintings. Murakami struggled for many years as a theater student without much direction in life; he jumped from job to job, until finally deciding to focus on the things that made him happy. Along with his wife, he bought a coffee shop, that moonlighted as a jazz club - the genre he accredits as the musical equivalent to his stories - and began his life as a modest art nerd. He came to his full potential during a Japanese baseball game. As the runner rounded first, a revelation hit him: "I can write novels." This story is great for day dreamers and night walkers; I read this book in two months and found his words to be simple enough to understand his complex thoughts on Jungian theory and "the other" that resides within us. A warning: Murakami will hurt you, unapologetically so, but in a way that will always have your best interest at heart. — From Luis' Picks


The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force—and one of Haruki Murakami’s most acclaimed and beloved novels.

In a Tokyo suburb, a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat—and then for his wife as well—in a netherworld beneath the city’s placid surface. As these searches intersect, he encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists. Gripping, prophetic, and suffused with comedy and menace, this is an astonishingly imaginative detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets from Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria during World War II.

About the Author

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo.  The most recent of his many honors is the Yomiuri Literary Prize, whose previous recipients include Yukio Mishima, Kenzaburo Oe, and Kobo Abe.  He is the author of the novels Dance, Dance, Dance, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and A Wild Sheep Chase, and of The Elephant Vanishes, a collection of stories.  His latest novel, South of the Border, West of the Sun, will be published by Knopf in 1999.  His work has been translated into more than fifty languages.

Praise For…

“Dreamlike and compelling. . . . Murakami is a genius.” —Chicago Tribune

“Mesmerizing. . . . Murakami’s most ambitious attempt yet to stuff all of modern Japan into a single fictional edifice.” —The Washington Post Book World

“A significant advance in Murakami’s art . . . a bold and generous book.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A stunning work of art . . . that bears no comparisons.” —New York Observer

“With The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Murakami spreads his brilliant, fantastical wings and soars.” —Philadelphia Inquirer

“Seductive. . . . A labyrinth designed by a master, at once familiar and irresistibly strange.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“An epic . . . as sculpted and implacable as a bird by Brancusi.” —New York Magazine

“Mesmerizing, original . . . fascinating, daring, mysterious and profoundly rewarding.” —Baltimore Sun

“A beguiling sense of mystery suffuses The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and draws us irresistibly and ever deeper into the phantasmagoria of pain and memory. . . . Compelling [and] convincing.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Digs relentlessly into the buried secrets of Japan’s past . . . brilliantly translated into the latest vernacular.” —Pico Iyer, Time
Product Details
ISBN: 9780679775430
ISBN-10: 0679775439
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: September 1st, 1998
Pages: 624
Language: English
Series: Vintage International