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The wind-up bird chronicle by Haruki Murakami

The wind-up chronicle

This was the first Murakami book that I read and was completely smitten by it. It easily blends in surreal and everyday events in such an intricate web that you are forced to stay glued till the very end.

The story is about a man named Toru Okada whose cat has disappeared, and then one day his wife leaves him even though they didn’t have any fight or any conflict. He begins to search for the reasons behind this and in the way meets many people who help him in their own ways to understand the situation that he finds himself in. Along the way, their own story unravels adding many layers to this unique story. A story filled with surreal situations, perplexing at times, yet it doesn’t seem odd and doesn’t obstruct the smooth flow of the narration.

The characters in this book are perfectly etched, be it Okada’s wife Kumiko who is fighting her own inner demons, or her evil brother Noboru Wataya, or our very own Toru – simple suburban guy whose simple uncomplicated life takes a twist, Malta Kano – a sort of a psychic healer, May – Toru’s no fuss young neighbour, a rich lady oddly called Nutmeg who helps him a lot in the latter part of the story and the ‘wind – up’ Bird ofcourse.

The book has quite a bit of flashbacks and in one of those Toru and his wife goes to visit an old wise man named Mr. Honda. The philosophy that he endorses forms the crux of this story. He tells the:

“When you are supposed to go up, find the highest tower and climb to the top, when you are going down, find the deepest well and go down to the bottom.When there is no flow, stay still. If you resist the flow, everything dries up.”

Simple yet complex story telling with many layers of situations – a must read.

Author: Haruki Murakami

Translated by: Jay Rubin

Originally written in: Japanese

Pages: 607

ISBN :  0-679-77543-9

0 30 May, 2010 Books May 30, 2010

About the author

She is a freelance graphic designer who also loves writing and sketching who gave a completely new perspective to blogging with her caricatures and graphics as well as writings .

View all articles by Gayatri


  1. Sir Pumpkin Lonshanks

    Like the great old man said: “It takes a lot of courage to stay still”… or was it Daniel Craig? I can’t seem to remember….

  2. Usha

    What a coincidence! I recently picked up one for his books and it was a first read of mine of Murakami too. And I wanted to get this one to read..and you have reviewed it! YAY! 😀

    You should read his South of the Border, West of the Sun. Let me know what you thought of the ending. 🙂


    1. gayatri

      that is great! Wanted to read ‘after dark’ first but now will pick up ‘south of the border..’ Murakami is just woow na 😀

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