Kafka on the Shore Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Kafka on the Shore

The story is about Kafka Tamura, a teenage boy who leaves his father's house and goes looking for his mother and sister. Kafka Tamura is 15 years old. He decides to move away from his father's house because he was a cold, distant man who made a strange prophecy about the future of his own son. He wants to find his mother and his sister. He takes a bus and during his trip he meets a strange girl that he thinks might be his sister.
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He arrives in a small town and he finds a small library. He is an avid reader so he goes there a lot. He meets Oshima and Miss Saeki the two persons who work in the library. One evening Kafka finds himself in the woods covered in blood. He gets really scared and he goes to a girl's house to spend the night. The girl from the bus helps him wash his bloody shirt and she tells him that he can stay there as long as he wants. He goes away in the morning and he visits the library. He befriends Oshima and he believes that Miss Saeki is his mother. Oshima and Miss Saeki offer Kafka a room near the library and a small job. He spends his days reading and taking care of the library until he finds out that his father was murdered and the police is searching for the departed son. Oshima takes Kafka to his cabin high up in the mountains. He spends some time in the silent cabin by himself and he explores the forest. The forest is really thick and he almost gets lost.

Nakata is an old man. His only ability is that he can talk to cats. He is a poor idiot who had the misfortune to be the victim of a very strange accident during World War II. He can't read or write and he lives in a small apartment in Tokyo. One day he meets a strange character named Johnny Walker and he kills him. Then, he has the urge to go on a strange trip to some place he doesn't know yet. He never traveled before so the whole undertaking is very difficult but Nakata is relentless and he finds many nice people to help him. Hoshino is a truck driver but he decides to join forces with Mr. Nakata and to go with him wherever the road will take them.

Nakata and Hoshino find out that their mission is to open up a portal to another world. In order to do this they have to flip a stone. A guy named Coloner Sanders helps them find the stone and then Nakata and Hoshino meet Miss Saeki. Kafka goes back and forth between the cabin and the library and in one of his explorations in the woods he discovers a strange world. He meets Miss Saeki and her younger version and he decides to live forever in that silent, dead world. Miss Saeki urges him to get out and keep on living. He leaves the strange world and he decides to return home and to go back to school. Nakata died while taking care of the stone and Hoshino closed the entrance to the other world by flipping back the stone
Best part of story, including ending: I understood Kafka's journey. He grew up and he decided to go on living his life.

Best scene in story: I loved the part where Kafka lives alone with his books in the mountains. It was such a strange and peaceful scenery.

Opinion about the main character: I liked the fact that he was reading a lot.

The review of this Book prepared by Andreea Lupei a Level 5 American Goldfinch scholar

Chapter Analysis of Kafka on the Shore

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 30%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 20% Tone of book    -   sensitive (sigh....) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   fantasy story on current Earth Explore/1st contact/ enviro story    -   Yes Explore:    -   dimension travel--general Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   scholar Age:    -   a teen Really unusual traits?    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin


Terrain    -   Mountains Earth setting:    -   current (early 21st century) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   actual description of sex    -   description of breasts How much dialogue?    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Haruki Murakami Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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