While vacationing in Myrtle Beach, I managed to finish Haruki Murakami’s Kafaka on the Shore, a lengthy novel that I had been carrying around for over a month. This was my first book by Murakami. It was actually the first time I’ve ever read anything by a Japanese author. The novel had a unique style (at least to me). It played and reminded me a bit of Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, where reality blended with mysticism. There were parts in the novel where leeches dropped from the sky and others where characters spoke with cats. Some bits really engaged me while others failed to attract me making the novel a bit of a drag.
A reviewer on Amazon.com described the novel as the last ten minutes of Magnolia. What an accurate description! I had the same thought while I was in the middle of the novel. One thing I noticed about Murakami’s style is that he is a great creator of characters. I managed to empathize with each of his characters, even his darkest character, who he christened "Johnny Walker." Yes, like the whiskey!
One character that really intrigued me was Colonel Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Murakami brought him to life in this novel, although he doesn’t represent himself but rather plays the role of a floating soul who has adopted the physical appearance of Colonel Sanders. For anyone looking for a bit of off-beat reading, this is your book.