Toru Okada’s cat has disappeared. He recently quit his job and he was leading a very peaceful and blameless life. Suddenly everything changes in his life. His wife Kumiko is growing more cold and distant every day. He is also receiving a certain number of explicit telephone calls from a totally unknown person. His wife asks him to meet Creta Kano who according to his wife will help him find the missing cat. Soon his wife goes missing. Later on, he meets Malta Kano who was raped by Kumiko’s brother Noboru Wataya. Things take an exciting turn from here. Soon he comes to know Malta Kano’s story and he discovers that she who was a prostitute of flesh initially is now a prostitute of the mind. Toru Okada also meets May Kashara a cheerful young girl who is a bit philosophical. He met her in his neighborhood while was searching for his cat. Then Lieutenant Mamiya comes to meet him who tells him the story of Boris the man skinner who used to skin people alive. He describes his experiences vividly which is truly breathtaking. The story revolves around Toru Okada his vivid dreams, memories of the past and his observations of life. He goes to a dry well around his neighborhood to retrospect and contemplate on his life and certain events that happened in the past. While he is inside he sees a lot of dreams which later turns into reality. He also gets a blue mark on his cheek which is associated with some events in the past
He also sits on a bench every day, doing nothing but observing people. Thus he meets Nutmeg and her son Cinnamon. Nutmeg is a prominent fashion designer and with her help, he comes to know many things about his past. Nutmeg also narrates her story and thus Okada connects with her story. The complex questions here are will Mr. Toru Okada ever find his cat? Will his wife come back to him? Moreover, why is he receiving all these explicit telephone calls and why does he have a blue mark on his cheek? The storyline is really very interesting and at the same time, it’s deeply philosophical.
The author Haruki Murakami is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. His work has been described as ‘easily accessible, yet profoundly complex’. I really felt deeply connected with this book. Each and every sentence in this book still lingers in my mind like a sweet lullaby. It’s deeply philosophical and teasingly perplexing. It’s a story of love, adultery, violence, and self-discovery. The part that touched and horrified me the most was Lieutenant Mamiya’s story describing the horrors of war. The story of Boris the main skinner was terrifying I was paralyzed with fear for a while after reading it
Then there are a few quotes that made me think
“Curiosity can bring guts out of hiding at times, maybe even get them going. But curiosity evaporates. Guts have to go for the long haul. Curiosity is like an amusing friend you can’t really trust. It turns you on and then it leaves you to make it on your own -with whatever guts you can muster”
“We can invest enormous time and energy in serious efforts to know another person, but in the end how close can we come to that person’s essence? We convince ourselves that we know the other person well, but do we really know anything important about anyone?”
“Spend your money on things money can buy Spend your time on things money can’t buy”
I was overwhelmed after seeing a lot of quotes but sadly I can include only a few here
Toru Okada made me think a lot about present life as well as my past. I was astonished after I saw how he handles matters like infidelity and adultery with patience. His wife Kumiko seems to be lost in thoughts most of the time and I found it pleasant. I felt the same hatred that Toru Okada felt towards Noburu Wataya, his brother in law. I also fell in love with Cinnamon. The way his features and character are explained is just amazing. Mostly I think this is because I loved the author’s style of writing which is mesmerizing and surreal. So honestly, I loved this book and I can say that without any hesitation !!!
This book is a must read. I’m sure I will read it a few more times to grasp the complete meaning of this book. This book is super mysterious and you will feel like reading till the very end. So overall I would like to give this book a 5/5. So if you haven’t read this book read it as soon as possible and we can discuss this book because it’s super interesting. Also, let me know how you feel about this book in this book in the comment section below!!!