I finished reading Haruki Murakami‘s beautiful novel Kafka on the Shore a couple of days ago and still haven’t recovered from the experience. It was the first Murakami I’ve readâ€”I don’t know how he escaped my notice beforeâ€”but I intend to read more. I don’t think I’ve ever so willingly or completely surrended my disbelief to a novel before. I was quite thoroughly seducedâ€”but not abandonedâ€” for the book has stayed with me. One of the qualities I enjoy and admire is his refusal to let the fiction collapse into Meaning, the English Class obsession. He says in an interview “When you read a good story, you just keep reading. When I write a good story, I just keep writing.” I could feel that joyous sense as I readâ€”that we were both having a good time. I read it because it was awarded the World Fantasy Award for 2005â€”which it richly deserves.