Bad things come in threes for Toru Okada. He loses his job, his cat
disappears, and then his wife fails to return from work. His search
for his wife (and his cat) introduces him to a bizarre collection
of characters, including two psychic sisters, a possibly unbalanced
teenager, an old soldier who witnessed the massacres on the Chinese
mainland at the beginning of the Second World War, and a very shady
politician. Haruki Murakami is a master of subtly disturbing prose.
Mundane events throb with menace, while the bizarre is accepted
without comment. Meaning always seems to be just out of reach, for
the reader as well as for the characters, yet one is drawn
inexorably into a mystery that may have no solution. The Wind-Up
Bird Chronicle is an extended meditation on themes that appear
throughout Murakami's earlier work. The tropes of popular culture,
movies, music, detective stories, combine to create a work that
explores both the surface and the hidden depths of Japanese society
at the end of the 20th century.