海辺のカフカ - Kafka on the Shore 🏖 (Advanced Book Club)

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Welcome to 海辺のカフカ - Kafka on the Shore :beach_umbrella:

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Where to buy

Amazon JP (上) | Amazon JP (combined volume for 上 and 下) | Bookwalker (separate volumes for 上 and 下) | Bookwalker (combined volume for 上 and 下)

Discussion Threads and Reading Schedule

We started reading on May 28th, 2022.

Week Start Date Chapters Page Count
Week 1 May 28th 0, 1, 2 33
Week 2 June 4th 3, 4 26
Week 3 June 11th 5, 6 45
Week 4 June 18th 7, 8, 9 46
Week 5 June 25th 10, 11 44
Week 6 July 2nd 12, 13 47
Week 7 July 9th 14, 15 50
Week 8 July 16th 16 26
Week 9 July 23rd 17, 18 44
Week 10 July 30th 19, 20 51
Week 11 Aug 6th 21, 22 46
Week 12 Aug 13th 23 28

Discussion Rules

  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
  • When asking for help, please mention the chapter and page number. Also mention what version of the book you are reading.
  • Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarrassing at first. All of us are here to learn.
  • To you lurkers out there: Join the conversation, it’s fun!

Member List

Are you planning to read 海辺のカフカ - Kafka on the Shore :beach_umbrella: with the book club?

  • Yes
  • Yes, but I might start late
  • Not sure
  • No

0 voters

If so, which version will you be reading?

  • eBook
  • Paperback

0 voters

6 Likes

I don’t know if I’m quite at the level yet to be reading advanced books, but this is one I’ve been interested in, so I figured I’d try

7 Likes

Same here. I joined the intermediate book club and, while I can´t say I am struggling I am very slow at reading. So this book might be quite a challenge for me.
But at the same time, it might be an interresting challenge as you can check with others if you understood correcly and ask questions.
Moreoever, reading a Murakami book is kinda a goal of mine so :slight_smile:
I will think about it.

6 Likes

Hello and welcome to our next book club pick!

First of all, I would like to discuss the schedule. The book contains many chapters, here is an overview of them:

Book chapters
Chapter Start Page Page Count
カラスと呼ばれる少年 5 9
Ch. 1 14 12
Ch. 2 26 12
Ch. 3 38 13
Ch. 4 51 13
Ch. 5 64 28
Ch. 6 92 17
Ch. 7 109 15
Ch. 8 124 16
Ch. 9 140 15
Ch. 10 155 22
Ch. 11 177 22
Ch. 12 199 19
Ch. 13 218 28
Ch. 14 246 25
Ch. 15 271 25
Ch. 16 292 26
Ch. 17 318 27
Ch. 18 345 17
Ch. 19 362 25
Ch. 20 387 26
Ch. 21 413 22
Ch. 22 435 24
Ch. 23 459 28

These page numbers and counts are from the actual paperback bunko for a change :grin:

My first instinct was to have a look at a 12-week schedule:

Week Chapters Page Count
Week 1 0, 1, 2 33
Week 2 3, 4 26
Week 3 5, 6 45
Week 4 7, 8, 9 46
Week 5 10, 11 44
Week 6 12, 13 47
Week 7 14, 15 50
Week 8 16 26
Week 9 17, 18 44
Week 10 19, 20 51
Week 11 21, 22 46
Week 12 23 28

Things to note:

  • The average page count is pretty high at ~45 pages, and then we have a few outliers at <30 pages. Might be ok, might feel strange.
  • Murakami’s writing is a bit unpredictable for me; sometimes it’s pretty straightforward, sometimes it can be very hard with lots of difficult (for me) kanji and vocab. So I sat down and read the first few pages to try to assess this somewhat better, and I found that it’s rather on the straightforward side for this book. I also looked at a few pages that were around the middle of the book to check whether they’d suddenly become more difficult, but it didn’t seem like that to me. Therefore I think this schedule might be doable.

Anyways, I tried some slower schedules, and here’s what I came up with:

Slower schedules

Here I’ll show only those parts that differ from the 12-week schedule.

13 weeks:

Week Chapters Page Count
Week 9 17 27
Week 10 18, 19 42
Week 11 20 26
Week 12 21, 22 46
Week 13 23 28

14 weeks:

Week Chapters Page Count
Week 7 14 25
Week 8 15 25
Week 9 16 26
Week 10 17 27
Week 11 18, 19 42
Week 12 20 26
Week 13 21, 22 46
Week 14 23 28

15 weeks:

Week Chapters Page Count
Week 4 7, 8 31
Week 5 9, 10 37
Week 6 11, 12 41
Week 7 13 28
Week 8 14 25
Week 9 15 25
Week 10 16 26
Week 11 17 27
Week 12 18, 19 42
Week 13 20 26
Week 14 21, 22 46
Week 15 23 28

I also looked at 16 weeks but it was identical to the 15-week schedule for the first 13 (!) weeks, so I determined that that’s a bit pointless.

As you can see, the first 3 or 6 or 8 weeks are identical, so my suggestion would be to only decide the exact schedule after the first 2-3 weeks are done so that we already have a feeling for the text and how we can get along with it.

And then, I thought about going faster :joy_cat: Here’s the 11-week schedule:

Week Chapters Page Count
Week 1 0, 1, 2, 3 46
Week 2 4, 5 41
Week 3 6, 7 32
Week 4 8, 9 31
Week 5 10, 11 44
Week 6 12, 13 47
Week 7 14, 15 50
Week 8 16, 17 53
Week 9 18, 19 42
Week 10 20, 21 48
Week 11 22, 23 52

I think it has a beautiful rhythm and uniformity to it, with 2 chapters per week for basically all weeks. But it’s pretty fast :sweat_smile: To be honest I don’t even know whether I can keep up with this schedule, with all the other stuff I’ve got going on, but if y’all are in favor of this, then I won’t be the one who’s standing in your way, that’s for sure :grin:

What reading schedule do you prefer?

  • 12 [- 15] weeks (let’s decide as we go)
  • 11 weeks
  • I have a different idea (please explain)

0 voters

5 Likes

It’s not necessary the case that the book is hard (at least not for those modern books). But we will read it at a pretty fast pace (2-3x the speed of the Intermediate club). If you can’t keep up with the pace, then there is nothing wrong with reading the book at a slower pace - you can still participate in the discussion threads with questions and comments, of course!

7 Likes

I maaaay have gone wild and impulse-bought them :eyes: I read some Murakami in English for my lit class and I really enjoyed it so I was obviously drawn in. I’ve come a long way since I last tried following along with a book club so hopefully Zero Escape has prepared me for this challenge :joy: We’ll see how it goes!

5 Likes

You know, I read a bit of this in English but I guess I got distracted by something else and never continued. Would very much like to read it. Murakami feels a little out of my depths, but knowing it’s probably more about the speed is good because I keep finishing the intermediate pick in like the first day. I’m tempted, but I’ll have to see how things look when the time comes… a lot can happen in a month but I’m currently in one of those phases where I have a few too many things to do, and I might not be fast enough to finish some of them by then.

4 Likes

I mean, the current intermediate pick’s assignments are not that long, but anyways, if you can read that in a day, I don’t see why you shouldn’t be able to read this club’s assignments in 3 or 4 days tbh… (and then get used to it and speed up later on)

That’s a different story altogether :grin:
(same hat, by the way…)

3 Likes

I’ve been planning to read a Murakami book for a while now (it’s actually one of my 2022 reading goals), so maybe I will join. Maybe.

Kafka on the Shore is one of the ~3 novels I’ve been considering (the other ones being Norwegian Wood and Hardboiled Wonderland). But as most Murakami novels, it’s long. I’m not making good progress on my current books recently, but maybe things will look better in a month or so.

11 Likes

Considering that reading Murakami was a big motivation for me to learn how to read Japanese in the first place, it’s strange that I haven’t read a Murakami book in Japanese yet either. Before I realized that reading in the original language was actually an attainable goal, I went and spoiled some of his most famous works by reading them in English (I’ll likely read them again in Japanese, but only after some more time has past).

My absolute favorite (and first one I read) was Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I’ve had 1Q84 on my shelf pretty much since I cut myself off from reading Murakami in English. I also think Hardboiled Wonderland sounds intriguing. If you decide to read any of those three sometime this year and the timing works out I’d happily read along for some discussion and mutual motivation.

9 Likes

Wow, so many participants already! That’s great :star_struck:

For the schedule, a few people did not vote for the 11-week layout, so I decided to roll with the 12-15 week variant. I will add the 12-week version to the OP as our tentative schedule, and after 3 weeks we can see how it goes and whether we want to slow down (then or later).


Hahaha same! For me it was 1Q84 that infected me. Read it all in German, but did not manage to read more than Book 1 Part 1 in Japanese yet. Did you know that there is even a Hashing out the details for reading Murakami Haruki's 1Q84 (Intermediate/Advanced Book) reading club? I read said Book 1 Part 1 with them but then dropped out for various reasons. And it seems that the club dried up somewhat? Might be cool to revive it again, what do you think? :joy_cat: I’d be game any time, starting from July :grin:

5 Likes

Please do! :eyes:
I stopped reading for a long time and only just got started reading vol 3 this month. I believe @Hijiki has finished the series?

3 Likes

So we’re only reading the first volume?

2 Likes

That’s the intention, since it’s so long. But we can probably create a spin-off bookclub after if there’s enough interest. I’ll probably want to read the whole story.

4 Likes

Yeah, I can see how those who choose not to read it wouldn’t be thrilled about waiting half a year for the next book. But I find it hard to believe that anyone would read almost 500 pages of Vol. 1 and then just set it down and say “Eh, that’s enough.” :laughing:

4 Likes

Are you talking about Kafka or 1Q84?

Yeah, especially since technically it’s one volume/book divided into two physical parts (上、下) and not two separate volumes. So storywise it’s more inseparable.

4 Likes

Kafka

Would have liked to have gotten into 1Q84, but wasn’t aware of these book clubs when that group started.

2 Likes

Thank you. I wasn’t aware that it’s so long. I read it in German a long time ago…

Yeah, I know it feels a bit stupid to have the book club only read the first part, but like the others said, it would be too long otherwise. So I’m counting on a spin-off book club :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

5 Likes