The first book I read by Haruki Murakami was quite a few years ago and I actually barely remember much about the book. I credit this to my short term memory and not by any means to his ability as an author. In fact, if there's anything I do remember about his book The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, it's that I was completely immersed in it. I vividly remember being transported to this surreal world he created in this book, but not in a way that overwhelmed me or consumed me. It was in a peaceful, quaint way, where the story began to trickle into my mind wholeheartedly. It's a similar quietness that I find in the Studio Ghibli films, but my affinity for Japan is perhaps a story for another day.
Reading the back of the book, I am reminded of the book's plot. Essentially a detective story in a Tokyo suburb, Toru Okada begins the story to search for his wife's missing cat. The story then develops into his wife going missing, and in his search to find her he meets several unlikely and unusual characters, prophetic to his journey. At times, the book and its story begins to unfold in a sort of fantasy, crossing the threshold between what's real and not so delicately that you might even believe it happening to yourself.
I recall Okada being a somewhat relatable character, and each peculiar person he meets also feeling in some ways familiar. I also remember this book being the beginning of my Japan fascination. I went on to read some of his other books, including Kafka on the Shore, and Norwegian Wood, both of which I'd also recommend. His style of writing is, as I said, peaceful, and it's the sort of peace we all long for whenever we have time to pick up a book in this digital age.
Perhaps, it's time I give this book a re-read...