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Download Kafka on the Shore Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (71,425 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Haruki Murakami Narrator: Oliver Le Sueur, Sean Barrett Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Kafka on the Shore was published in 2002 to wide acclaim. It has been awarded by The New York Times with placement on the 10 Best Books of 2005. The story has incited the public to ask many questions about its meaning, to which the author responded in multiple entries on his website for the novel.

In this novel, there are two distinct but interrelated plots, between which the narrative runs back and forth, each plot alternating by chapter. Every other chapter tells the story of Kafka, a teenager, who has run away from his father's home to avoid an Oedipal curse. On a quest to find his mother and sister he is entangled in a series of adventures, but eventually finds safety in a secluded library. He spends his days there reading a translation of A Thousand and One Nights, until police catch up with him in connection to a violent crime.

Intertwined is Nakata's story, that of an old man whose job is to find lost cats. One particular case puts him on a journey that leads him far from home, for the first time in his life. He becomes friends with a truck driver who later becomes very attached to him. Although it appears that Nakata and Kafka's stories might collide throughout the novel, their tales perhaps take place on a metaphysical plane rather than in reality. In fact, the author Murakami has said that there are multiple riddles contained in the novel that will arise with more than one reading.

Haruki Murakami is a Japanese writer and translator. He is considered an important personality in post-modern literature, though his work has often been criticized by the Japanese literary establishment.

Kafka on the Shore is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom.

As their paths converge, and the reasons for that convergence become clear, Haruki Murakami enfolds readers in a world where cats talk, fish fall from the sky, and spirits slip out of their bodies to make love or commit murder.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An insistently metaphysical mind-bender.”

    New Yorker

  • “If he has not achieved that status already, Haruki Murakami is on course to becoming the most widely read Japanese writer outside Japan, past or present.” 

    New York Times

  • “A striking experience in consciousness expansion.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Absorbing…Murakami is of course himself an immensely reader-friendly novelist, and never has he offered more enticing fare than this enchantingly inventive tale.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2005 New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year
  • Winner of the 2006 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2005 ALA Notable Book Finalist for Fiction
  • A 2005 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sauceboat | 2/18/2014

    " Ask me and I'll tell you I don't remember any of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tom | 2/4/2014

    " Absorbing and weird but as usual unravelled towards the finish into loose ends aplenty! Got to love it though! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Zac | 1/24/2014

    " In the end, I found myself finishing the book because I had begun the journey. It had hooked me enough to finish it, but not enough for me to necessarily enjoy the read. The questions of realities, shadows and the bending of time were interesting and played with expertly. In the end, there was a feeling as though a page was missing here and there that would have made the experience more pleasant. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Alice | 12/13/2013

    " One of the best books I've encounter with. "

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