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Thread: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

  1. #1
    Coachella Junkie algunz's Avatar
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    Default The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    Unfortunately, I'm not totally done with Book 1 yet. I should be done tonight.

    What strikes me most at this point would be the female characters. They all seem like such an enigma to Toru and yet he allows himself to be controlled by them.

    What about your observations?

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    Coachella Junkie fatbastard's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    I also have a method of ironing my shirts. I start from left to right, then the left arm, the right arm, then the collar. I find it a relaxing process. It reminds me of the days of ironing my school uniform. Do not think anyone can iron sucessfully if they are upset.
    Whiskey Sour

    2 oz blended whiskey
    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    1/2 tsp powdered sugar
    1 cherry
    1/2 slice lemon

    Shake blended whiskey, juice of lemon, and powdered sugar with ice and strain into a whiskey sour glass. Decorate with the half-slice of lemon, top with the cherry, and serve.

  3. #3
    Coachella Junkie algunz's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    So far Toru's character can be summed up by the following quote:

    "Nothing so consumes a person as meaningless exertion." p. 50

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    Brackish African wmgaretjax's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    But his existence isn't entirely meaningless right? There's his relationship with the little girl, which seems anything but empty. She seems to be calling him out on his bullshit in a quiet, kind way. Their exchange on page 65 about guts and curiosity seems like this strange way of nudging him in the right direction.

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    Coachella Junkie algunz's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    Certainly not meaningless, he just clearly has not discovered the meaning yet. And yes, I'd say the women -especially May- are like his muses.

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    Coachella Junkie algunz's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    Quote Originally Posted by algunz View Post
    So far Toru's character can be summed up by the following quote:

    "Nothing so consumes a person as meaningless exertion." p. 50
    What I meant by this was not necessarily that his life is meaningless, but more that he just doesn't seem to have the drive or the desire to seriously pursue anything unless it is meaningful to him. Hence his current dilemma, nothing seems to mean anything to him and that's why he finds himself cooking pasta at 10 in the morning or simply sitting in silence in an abandoned yard. He's resigned himself to comfortable boredom. But the ladies are slowly beginning to change that in him, despite the fact that he doesn't understand them at all.
    Last edited by algunz; 01-20-2008 at 11:22 AM.

  7. #7
    Brackish African wmgaretjax's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    Definitely. One of my favorite things about his relationships with them is that it's clear he sees an importance in his relationship with them, despite how clueless he is about the specificity of it. So, being consistently confused and taken aback at their behavior or involvement in his life becomes more pleasant than the monotony that he has grown accustomed to.

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    Member atom heart's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    I love how visual this part of the book is. I don't know if all of you have finished it yet, but I will say that the book gets very weirdly claustrophobic at points.

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    Dark Lord mountmccabe's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    I finished part 1 yesterday.

    I am not even sure what to say.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    I feel like dad-rock wouldn't get so bad of a rep if we called it pop-rock

  10. #10
    Dark Lord mountmccabe's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    I can't say I don't like it yet because I feel like it's all just set up thus far.

    I am annoyed every time Murakami mentions what song/album/orchestra is playing; it sticks out like a sore thumb.

    I don't understand why Murakami spent the last 35 pages on the Outer Mongolia story. I mean, sure, it's building up Honda but... why? I guess he really wanted us to pay attention to bad Scotch?

    It is weird thinking about the book now. It's not that I don't like it, really. It's an easy, quick read... but, yeah.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    I feel like dad-rock wouldn't get so bad of a rep if we called it pop-rock

  11. #11
    Dark Lord mountmccabe's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    Also I don't understand what is being talked about with "muses" and "right direction"s. That feels presumptuous to me. What am I missing?
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    I feel like dad-rock wouldn't get so bad of a rep if we called it pop-rock

  12. #12
    Brackish African wmgaretjax's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    I think a lot of your concerns will dissipate as the book moves forward. The second book is very different in a lot of ways.

  13. #13
    Dark Lord mountmccabe's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    Quote Originally Posted by wmgaretjax View Post
    I think a lot of your concerns....
    Please don't talk about the second part in this thread. Wondering like I was doing is a significant part of the joy of reading a book for the first time. Don't take that away.

    I know you're not trying to be a dick; please accept that neither am I.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    I feel like dad-rock wouldn't get so bad of a rep if we called it pop-rock

  14. #14
    Coachella Junkie algunz's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    Quote Originally Posted by mountmccabe View Post
    Also I don't understand what is being talked about with "muses" and "right direction"s. That feels presumptuous to me. What am I missing?
    I use "muse" in the sense that these women are somehow leading him in some direction. I certainly wouldn't call it a "right" direction, but it's more of a direction than he seems to have had in a long time. And I think he welcomes their lead.

  15. #15

    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    such a good book
    not my favourite Murakami, but pretty close

    he can make something as boring as describing the weather sound interesting (and make you wanna re-read the paragraph)

  16. #16
    Coachella Junkie algunz's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    I've actually been a bit turned off by some of the mundanity of his words, but I realize that the tedium of the prose parallels the protagonist's current place in life. Sometimes Murakami seems to use so many "extra" words to set up or explain a simple action. Maybe it's the translation too. I think the book could easily have been a bit shorter.

  17. #17
    old school downingthief's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    John, I echo some of your sentiments. While I was reading the torture portion, I kept asking myself...why is this in here? The description was absolutely gut wrenching. I am intrigued to find out why it was included.

    An empty box? Symbolism abounds!

    It's very interesting how nothing really seems to get Toru excited. Yet, you can't say he is unhappy either. The sex dreams are intriguing, too. Especially considering there was no intimacy whatsoever between him and Kumiko. Was almost like they were roomates, nothing more.

    So far, a very unique read. As a reader, I do not know where this is going, or even what "type" of story/book this is. And, I love that.

  18. #18
    Member atom heart's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    Yeah, when I read both Kafka and Wind Up Bird I had to wonder how much of the writing was Murakami's and how much was the translator's. The translation might have something to do with why I like Kafka better than Wind Up Bird.
    My neighbor has taken several years of Japanese classes so whenever I watch anime with her she always complains about the english subtitles. Now, I would expect that someone writing a translation of a literary work would try to do his best, but, to be cliche, a lot is lost in translation from Japanese to English. The wordiness is probably the translator's attempt to approximate the original sentence as closely as possible. Whether or not he's successful... let's just say I'm not about to take ten years of Japanese classes to find out.

  19. #19
    Brackish African wmgaretjax's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    I imagine he's done a good enough job, particularly since he has translated pretty much everything that Murakami has done. I asked a Japaense friend once and she said that it feels a little bit more long winded in english, but that she couldn't imagine it being fixed without butchering the writing.

  20. #20
    Coachella Junkie algunz's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    What do you think is up with the motif of water?

    Every time I read about Malta's fascination with water I keep thinking of Dr. Strangelove. "Our precious bodily fluids"

  21. #21
    business time tessalasset's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    You people intimidate me. So far I'd only want to be in a real life book club with John and Sean. I'm glad John spoke up cause for a second there I felt in way over my head in this thread. But I suppose it will force me to broaden my scope of language when talking about books. I'm used to the movie thread.

    I loved the war story. I forgot for a while that that was not what the book was about. For some reason I'm really liking this book, although it's not my go-to style at all. It's a very easy, comprehensive read. I'm not good at book clubs yet tho and I don't make notes while I'm reading so I don't know what else to say at this point. I'm just going to shut up and read everyone else's reactions to stimulate my own.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ardentbiscuit View Post
    This is the equivalent of musical water boarding.

  22. #22

    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a fascinating book by Haruki Murakami. So far I've read this, Norwegian Wood, and Dance Dance Dance and Wind-Up is a favorite.
    Last edited by greenplastic875; 01-21-2008 at 09:25 PM.

  23. #23
    business time tessalasset's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    Greenplastic, please read the above posts by Mountmccabe.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ardentbiscuit View Post
    This is the equivalent of musical water boarding.

  24. #24

    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    Whoops.

  25. #25
    Coachella Junkie algunz's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    tessa, don't be intimidated. We're all full of shit. We just like books.

  26. #26
    business time tessalasset's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    It's gonna take me a while to get used to how hxc you guys are. But I'll be ok.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ardentbiscuit View Post
    This is the equivalent of musical water boarding.

  27. #27
    old school downingthief's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    All is good, Tessa. After all my college years of wanting to be a highschool English teacher, and disecting every little nuance of everything I read, I discovered that I simply just enjoyed reading. Last straw was a heated discussion with my professor regarding Faulkner (who I, quite frankly, despise). But, I digress...

    The characters are really fascinating to me in Wind Up. May appears to be the voice of "reason" so far. Funny that coming from a 16 year old. She is the only one, other than the military officer, who really shows any "life". All others are very robotic. Very two dimensional.
    Last edited by downingthief; 01-22-2008 at 09:06 AM.

  28. #28
    Coachella Junkie algunz's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    Two dimenisonal and all rather beaten down. I agree May is definitely the most interesting thus far. Some of the things she says are great. I wonder how much of her words are foreshadowing things that will happen to Toru or that he will have to "deal" with in some respect. She seems like the one who can really see into the future not the geek greek crew.

  29. #29
    Member keriann's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    Ok I finished book 1.

    When the whole Outer Mongolia thing started I was not pleased. I didn't see how it fit. But I kind of got lost in the story and started to enjoy it. I am curious to see what it has to do with anything else that follows.

    I want to know what is up with Kumiko. What with the late nights and the new perfume. Hmmmm.

    There have been quite a few lines that I thought were brilliant. I should start making note of them.

  30. #30
    business time tessalasset's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Wind-up Bird, Book 1

    The most unsettling thing for me, especially after reading this thread, is that I identify with Toru's character. Especially the scene where Kumiko kind of freaks out that he doesn't know about her preferences for cooked beef, toilet paper, and tissue. I get shit for that all the time and I respond exactly the way he does and I think inside my head exactly the way he does. I like his character a lot, actually.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ardentbiscuit View Post
    This is the equivalent of musical water boarding.

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