Loyal Murakami readers know that when you open a Murakami novel you never know what to expect, the Wind Up Bird Chronicle is not an exception to this reputation. The story begins with a simple man, in a simple home with a very simple story but as the story progresses the plot becomes anything but simple. This is the kind of book that makes you think about even the smallest things and why they are happening. The conversational style of writing makes it an easy read but it can also make it a boring read. When you pick up this book you must have patience and an open mind because when you start realizing where the author is going with the story and you find some sort of explanation to the events, he confuses you even more.
The story has many characters, some important to the story while others don’t really add much by their presence. The characters and their stories might not help the reader understand the story but they play an important part in the journey of self-discovery Toru, the main character, takes. Throughout his journey, Toru finds himself in unusual and uncomfortable situations with individuals that he does not expect. The deeper into the story you go the more questions that go through your mind but unfortunately at the end of the book you realize that not all your questions are going to be answered, which can be a frustrating outcome for many readers. Yet regardless of the flow of events and characters in each chapter, the main sentiment that you feel from Toru, is suffering, you feel his suffering even over the simplest changes that occur in his life and you discover how that suffering shapes him. Murakami tries to convey through Toru that suffering can’t be simply eliminated, it must be accepted and dealt with in order for a person to be able to move on.
Our Citizens were divided on this read, some disliked Murakami’s writing and storytelling and would probably not read another Murakami book. Our other Citizens who find themselves fascinated by the unusual and challenged by deciphering hidden messages enjoyed this book thoroughly. So it simply comes down to what kind of reader you are to decide whether this is a book you want to add to your reading list.