Kafka on the Shore

Haruki Murakami

I’m a recidivist where Murakami is concerned. There’s a pure light amid the mystifying fog that permeates much of his work. It’s called sheer wonder. Some say there’s no there there, but I enjoy the ride as he explores emptiness, the loss of innocence, the workings of memory and of coincidence, which we too often reduce to triviality.
Read him in shorter form in the New Yorker if you’re not sure. Or try to very different shorter novels: Sputnick Baby, which is drenched in magic like Kafka, and South of the Border, a much more straightforward treatment of transition to adulthood that is as vivid and tender as it comes.

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