Babble Book Club: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle -- Book Two: Bird as Prophet discussion

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Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture
Babble Book Club: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle -- Book Two: Bird as Prophet discussion

as my organization skills get slightly better, I invite everyone to begin discussion on Book Two, of the Wind-up Bird Chronicle, Bird as Prophet.

My first impressions are that there is a bit of a disconnect of flow between the two so far. Obviously the main story is continuing through, but I wonder why he chose to divide and write within these confines and with this method. I have yet to see how this is serving the purpose of the writing.

then again, I am not all the way through.

Issues Pages: 

Okay, I'll bite, KM (about the only safe place to post, lately, and I'll probably have to work at inscrutability here), what is your conclusion as to the absence of continuity and disonance in narrative throughout, now that you are through?

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture

I am a few pages short of finishing book three, but within book two, after my initial comment of feeling a divide, I think the narrative did stay connected and it did come together more.

I will save my comments about my overall thoughts, especially towards book three, for tomorrow -- but I suppose the continuity was actually there. My suspicions about Kumiko were confirmed, however, I couldn't help but feel throughout this book and book one that things were clashing and it seems like event, after event, and tangents were through everywhere. At points I felt like I was grasping at straws to understand and follow a narrative.

I found, near the end of book two, that if i let go of my need to find a narrative, and as lame as this may sound, and went on the jounrey with Mr. Okada, my enjoyment of reading improved.

I honestly think at points my need to find things to 'discuss' has really hindered my sense of reading, enjoyment and understanding of this book. I have been to focused on what I will be able to 'get' from this book and how I will relate that to others, that I think I have really missed the nuances and overall experience of this book. it is something I will have to work on.

I wonder if his need to create fantasy on top of reality coupled with heightened emotions, tension and actions was on purpose to drag the reader into a suspended realtiy and then potentially have things either solved, or is much the case in his other novels, not at all.


What did you think of book two, the shortest of them all.

(and book club will stay safe for you -- as long as you always agree with me. kidding!)


In retrospect (I took it from the library on inter-library) I was also left grasping for straws of meaning. My first reaction was to dismiss the sex and Mongolian gambit as gratuitous. But then began to doubt my capacity to tie it together in some cultural granddaughter loves the fantastic characters that appear in Japanese children's fiction, while I'm left wondering at the figures from nature.

Perhaps your continuing comments, like your finding "that if i let go of my need to find a narrative... and went on the jounrey with Mr. Okada, my enjoyment of reading improved," and the perspective of others, will help.

Plow on. Or should that be plough? :)

Kaitlin McNabb Kaitlin McNabb's picture


finished (of course)!

hmmm. I think book two was furthered enjoyed by the knowledge of book three. sometimes I really enjoy when you get to the end of a book and immediately want to start all over again -- although i resent that this time, since the book is 600 pages.

However strange their relationship, I liked the presence and character of May Kasahara. Her character was somewhat on the surreal side, yet he wrote her with a supreme sense of reality. There banter was charming, until she got to the stage where she was always testing him and being overly controlling -- I grew annoyed, but I think because the section seemed to be too long?