Haruki Murakami 2005. Kafka on the Shore. London: Vintage Books. 505 pp.

It seems Haruki Murakami sums this up himself at the end, using the voice of Oshima, a character of uncertain gender who might be his alter-ego:

Every one of us is losing something precious … but … you’ll live for ever in your own private library

Appearances by talking cats, and spirit-form Johnny Walker of whisky fame and Colonel Sanders of fried chicken fame betray an immature touch and don’t give a lot of hope but it is worth pushing on. This novel is about nearly anything you want it to be as long as it is in the line of dual personalities, lives and reality. There is more than enough metaphor for anyone to be able to find a way to relate to the fantastic story where reality takes a minor role. With fewer immature spirit forms and a bit less of the post-war American-influenced and scarred Japan it would have been a more timeless and greater work of fiction. As it is, it is a pretty fair attempt and a bit of a page-turner to boot.