Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird is dreamy — literally. After reading a chapter, you feel as if in a fog; you can’t decide what’s real or fiction. Murakami forces the reader to reconsider identity and linear time. Many of the characters seem to question who they really are, feeling as if they are stuck in another person’s body, or not fully connected to their own. Time lapses and overlaps and creates potholes in memory. Stories are told with a disregard to fact or with painful attention to detail.

Passing the border into the bizarre, this book can be disorienting, but ultimately it’s a striking piece of written work. One cannot deny how masterful the author is in creating a presence with his words, an atmosphere that envelopes the reader from beyond the pages.

Every character has an inexplicable aura. Supremely ordinary and yet casting an element of intrigue. The author seems to enjoy teasing his characters, but also cares deeply for them.

This novel may not be for everyone, there are graphic scenes and uncomfortable tensions, but I highly recommend this book for those who want to be cast into another world.