I really should go (at least for a little while) for books which are not so heavy. This was 600 odd pages and it was heavy reading.
Having read quite a bit about this author, I was very curious to see how I would go with Japanese literature. This was not an easy read. It kept me entranced in bits and pieces but my attention wandered over large tracts of the book.
Okada is a low key employee at a law firm. Married to Kumiko, apparently quite content in his marriage, he leaves his job and is at home. He takes over routine domestic jobs and is quite happy to be the house husband in this situation. All the adventure starts with their cat going missing and subsequently Kumiko herself goes missing and then bizarre adventure after another follows, not all of which I could follow.
During this troubled period Okada meets up with several people - all quirky, all eccentric and all slightly "different". From May Kasahara a troubled teenager, to Malta Kano to Creta Kano both taking names from two islands, to Nutmeg and Cinnamon Akasaka. All these people had fantastic histories behind them and their life history sounds very surreal. They all also have features in their lives which connect them in some way to each other - whether its a mark on the face which suddenly appears to prostitution to rape to the coincidence that whoever hears the wind up bird ends up dead.
It was very difficult to know what was real and what was fantasy in the book. I am not very good at analysing fantasy and maybe the fault lies with me! Whether the fantasies experienced by Okada was in a dreamlike state relating to his life I do not know. For me it was a bit of a mess and though I plodded through it I did not enjoy the book as much as I felt I should.
I have Norwegian Wood with me but I think its going to be a while before I get to that book.