Thursday, March 5, 2015

Book Review: Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

I bought this book from Literati Haven for 400.00 php. It's in pre-loved good condition and hard to find as market of this hardbound format are no longer widely produced.

Note: Literati Haven is an online bookstore selling pre-loved books at a fair price. You can also find them selling through Instagram:

Book Details:

Title: Kafka on the Shore (Japanese: 海辺のカフカ | Umibe no Kafuka )
ISBN: 1400043662
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Published Date:
First Published: 2002 (originally in Japanese)
Original Language: Japanese
Translated to: English
Translator by: Philip Gabriel
Genre: Fiction, Magical Realism, Japanese Literature

Notable Kafka on the Shore Characters:
- Kafka Tamura
- Nakata
- Miss Saeki
- Oshima
- Hoshino
- Johnnie Walker
- Colonel Sanders

(see book review below; may contain spoilers)

kafka on the shore deckle edge
Kafka on the Shore Hardcover Deckle Edge

kafka on the shore landscape picture
Kafka on the Shore landscape picture first couple of page

kafka on the shore side cover hardbound
Kafka on the Shore side cover

kafka on the shore book spine without dusk jacket
Kafka on the Shore book spine without dusk jacket

kafka on the shore book spine
Kafka on the Shore book spine

kafka on the shore back cover
Kafka on the Shore back cover

(spoiler alert; skip book review and continue to references to help you with your reading; turn to Kafka on the Shore Music and latter references)

This is a story of runaway 15-year old boy named Kafka Tamura in-search for his unidentified mother and sister he saw in an old picture. Kind of intertwined by other characters who were also searching for something, a cat, a stone and not-sure-what-are-they-looking-for til they got on places and events will turn to make sense. Oddly enough on the other side of the story, things get interesting when Nakata who can talk with cats, met Johnnie Walker and latter his companion Hoshino met Colonel Sanders. I find it weird and funny. It blends well with the story.

There's a part where the story will suck you in. The part where it start using 'you' second-person around page 200. I am not sure if this is a mistake in translation or intentional but I didn't fall for it because it's the part where an incest sex scene take place. Well, nice try Haruki Murakami, I can't do "it" to a 50 year old woman or even to my own mother.

As my final words for this book, Kakfa on the Shore is a Bildungsroman, thought-provoking, cultural, artistic, erotic, mind-boggling, absurd, gory, paranormal and a sad book. With all these distinct scenes and themes from the book's chapters, It didn't confuse me with reading but instead it plays smoothly with the flow of the story. I praise Haruki Murakami for packing all of these in one book without giving me a headache on following what the story wants to give (unlike the 'Ilustrado' book; see review here).

My rating for this book is: 4.0 / 5.0

Kafka on the Shore Music:

The following music was composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. It is Piano Trio, Opus number 97 or commonly called Archduke Trio. It is played with three instruments - piano, violin and cello. It's the music Hoshino's listening to in the book.

Disclaimer: the above music by Beethoven is publicly available in SoundCloud shared by user Serge Blanc. Literateknolohitura don't own the above music. Shared for reader's reference in Kafka on the Shore, novel written by Haruki Murakami.

And "Kafka on the Shore" song by Miss Saeki. WARNING: Miss Saeki has a kind of huge voice...

The above YouTube music video was uploaded by Strummer Swansong. Literateknolohitura doesn't own the media content above and neither not sings.

Kafka on the Shore Quote:

"You've never killed anyone, and don't want to... - there are times in life when those kinds of excuses don't cut it anymore... For instance, It happens in war."
- Johnnie Walker, Kafka on the Shore, p. 131

  • Kafka on the Shore was listed in The New York Times' 10 Best Books of 2005
  • it also won the 2006 World Fantasy Awards for Novel

Where to buy Kafka on the Shore?

You can buy a similar copy of this book at (see direct link to the product below):

Or, you can buy for less cheaper price of this book in paperback format at BookDepository with free delivery, worldwide! Direct links to various edition listed below:




  1. You have one heck of a blog. I love the thoroughness of your reviews. That incest scene made me curios hahahah. Well done!!! ;)

  2. I'm interested to know how gory the descriptions are in the book. I don't mind if the story is sad if it's really so entertaining that I would not want to keep my hands off it but just keep reading until my eyes get tired.

  3. This is a story of a run-away kid looking his mother. This is indeed worthy for reading. If I could have a copy I would read it and appreciate the story.

  4. Johnie Walker and Col. Sanders ha! That's a nice twist. Thanks for sharing the music as well, never have I thought, reading a book review blends well with a classical tune!

  5. Ah, seems a good book to read, but no more time to read eh. So busy with church works.

  6. I always love thought provoking books. Will go out and check if this kind of book is available at the nearest book store near me. :)

  7. Interesting book to read, I love it. The story is very lonely but there is something in between I wanna know---so confusing. I also hope this book will be made into a movie as I personally think it is a nice story.

  8. Thank you for introducing me this book from Haruki Murakami! I'll try to see one this week.

  9. This is a good buy at P400. The story looks enticing and it would be nice to follow the story.

  10. Looks interesting, I would love to read it, too!

  11. good book review, it excites me to read this book too :)