I am reading Murakami’s ‘Kafka on the Shore’. I am reading it despite the popular reviews agreeing that this is not Murakami’s best. In fact some go on to say it is disappointing (while searching for the image in Google today, I read a few reviews). But as with the rest of the books that I read, I never read a review/research a book before reading it. Usually I am led by instinct. Obviously not a very rational way of going about buying books. But then I am not very rational even otherwise. For most of my life I have been led by instinct. I am still reading the book and I am not disappointed. Probably because I started it with zero expectations. But any way the running theme of the book is Fate and how we are led by it and there is nothing called free will with dark shades of a Greek tragedy loom large. The book begins interestingly enough. A mysterious WWII incident, talking cats who adore Puccini, a curse that ties the fate of all the characters, an alter ego dressed as a whiskey brand, a ‘spirited’ pimp who is the KFC guy, a painting that inspired a song track and of course women who are all nubile and pretty. Yes, it is dragging a little towards the middle albeit ‘metaphorically’. But there is a kooky sense of unrealism that draws me to it which makes me wish I could read the original Japanese. (Cheesy translations like ‘Jeez Louise!’ is as un-Japanese as it can get’).