An Oedipal myth, a search for identity, a love story, a murder mystery, talking cats, an enchanted forest, music, philosophy…it’s all here.

Murakami’s novel contains two distinct but interconnected plots. A fifteen year old boy named Kafka was abandoned years ago by his mother. Estranged from his father and alienated from society, he runs away in search of his mother, his sister, and himself. The second plot concerns an old man named Nakata. When he was a school boy, his entire class mysteriously lost consciousness for a short time. As a result, he lost his memory and the ability to read and write – but he can talk to cats! Now in old age, a traumatic event propels him to leave his simple life and embark on a road trip with destiny as his only guide. Kafka and Nakata both end up in the small seaside town of Takamatsu. Here the two stories converge.

Rich with humor and a fascinating storyline, the novel is ultimately a serious reflection on time, memory, loss, and self-discovery. It is nearly impossible to describe this wonderfully creative novel – just read it!

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