"You should have no sense of guilt about having had relations with me. You see, Mr. Okada, I am a prostitute. I used to be a prostitute of the flesh, but now I am a prostitute of the mind. Things pass through me."
Haruki Murakami is a wizard. Reading his work is like using a kaleidoscope to peek into the dream of a lost poet. The words seemingly drip off the pages, float down and burrow themselves into your skin. You will remember this book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and would highly recommend it to anyone in search of something different. For it revolving around such a simple plot, the story is imprinted with depth that is often lacking in many books clinging to "Best Seller" lists churned out by major cosmopolitan cities. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is really a collection of savory characters that all come into contact with our unorthodoxly ordinary hero, Toru Okada.
After Toru and his wife Kumiko's cat goes missing, Toru sets out on a mission of self discovery that ultimately will dump his life upside down. A prostitute, a brooding teenage girl and an old Manchurian War general enter into Toru's world and each provides a piece of a key that will be needed to unlock Toru's potential. He soon becomes a product of these encounters and now needs their perspectives to help him locate his wife who has gone missing without a trace. This book is a heroic attempt at using history, sex, politics and human interaction to tease out life's true purpose and to give meaning to the meaningless. So much in our life revolves around the people we meet along our own journeys and this book will definitely cause you to reflect on some of the more interesting characters you may have come across in your own time here on Earth. It is beautifully written and while it has an austere backbone that creeps throughout, this book will be a fantastic addition to any library. Read it.