The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1994)

Author: Haruki Murakami

Something I talk about far too frequently regarding books is the absolute necessity for re-reading. There is no better model for this than this trip through Toru Okada’s world/mind. This is my third time reading this book and yet somehow, in my previous readings I missed (or simply forgot) the entire ending of the book. In any other book I would be shocked by this but not with The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. This seems also appropriate for The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. This is the type of book where I would almost expect that the final part of the book did not exist before. I would almost expect the ending to amend itself between each reading.

What before felt like a purposefully fragmented and shuffled sequence of events, suddenly, this time, felt connected and logical…which is not to say that I understand the book any better, only that I see why things flow the way they flow. I’ve been coerced into the logic of the novel.

There’s something incredibly appealing to me about the realization that The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle may never reveal all of its mysteries to me. I may never understand why Mackerel the cat is important. I may not uncover the symbolism of the black-blue mark. I may never understand if Kumiko, May Kasahara, Malta Kano, Creeta Kano, the mysterious woman in the hotel room, & Nutmeg are all the same woman, or if there is even a way to unravel that question. (Perhaps they are AND they aren’t.) In the way that Unsolved Mysteries calls me back to watch and rewatch episodes, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle calls me back every few years. I’m driven mad my the lingering threads but I’m pulled at by those same things.

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Categorized as Books

By C.A. Hall

Writer / Podcaster I'm a well-written sentence marred by a curse word. In another life I might have been a criminal profiler, a jazz drummer, an architect, an acrobat, an actor, or a children’s book illustrator.