You can find the synopsis on Goodreads HERE.
Here’s a quick overview on my thoughts on this book. A few adjectives I used to describe this gem on my Instagram post were: weird, relaxing, engrossing, weird, interesting, unique…and weird! We’ll get to the weird stuff in a minute.
The relaxing, the engrossing
Part of what made this book so good for me was that I read it at the right place, at the right time. I was in exactly the frame of mind I needed to be utterly absorbed by certain parts of the book. I was there with Kafka contemplating the utter emptiness and loneliness the forest had to offer; daunting at first but refreshing like a cold, bucket of water. I was there as he opened the library, wiped down its counters, and made coffee every morning to later enjoy a good book in the reading room. It was parts like these that made this book such a pleasure to read.
The interesting, the unique
Leave your need for rational explanations at the door and your need to find the logic in things because you’re not going to need it. In this world, spirits take the form of well-known brand names (Johnny Walker), leeches fall from the sky and people talk to cats.
“Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back. That’s part of what it means to be alive. But inside our heads – at least that’s where I imagine it – there’s a little room where we store those memories. A room like the stacks in this library.”
The magical realism elements can be a whole bag of weird. Mix it with the weird sexual encounters that have some rather disturbing implications and you get whole tons of weirdness. Some readers may balk at this so if you are easily put off by sexual encounters this might not be the book for you. But! This book has so much to offer, especially now during these times of quarantine.
Despite the weird and unexplainable, I ended up loving this book! I admit, it is slow at times but like I said, you need the appropriate mindset in order to fully appreciate and immerse yourself in this book.
“Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.”
This book is for the lovers of magical elements in the real world and endearing characters (here’s looking at you Nakata!) who aren’t afraid of what sometimes can be a slow-paced book. If you’re looking for everything in this book to make sense, then you should pass this up because it will frustrate you.