Kafka on the Shore


Haruki Murakami

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Kafka on the Shore: Chapter 38 Summary & Analysis

At Nakata’s request, Hoshino rents a car. While Nakata consults with the entrance stone about what to do next, Hoshino listens to a CD of the Archduke trio over and over. He’s amazed—before a few days ago, he had no interest in classical music, and now he finds it deeply beautiful and affecting. He is surprised that he is capable of such a change, and wonders what other art he might grow to like.
In their continued pursuit of the mysterious entrance stone, Hoshino and Nakata both agree to follow Nakata’s vague instincts. This is further indication of the extent to which Hoshino is patient and trusting with Nakata, allowing them to determine their path even though he is unsure of where it will lead.
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The next morning, they set out in the rental car. Nakata is still unsure of their destination, so they drive methodically around the city, gazing out of the windows. Hours pass, and they grow weary, but seem no closer to finding their location. The next day is the same. As they head back to the apartment in defeat, Hoshino realizes that they’re in an unfamiliar, elegant residential area. They stop outside a gate with a sign reading “Komura Memorial Library.” Nakata realizes that this is the place they’ve been looking for.
Hoshino patiently caters to Nakata’s strange requests, hoping to help him find what he’s searching for. For a moment, it seems as if Nakata’s uncanny ability to determine the appropriate next step has waned—but at the last moment, his instincts pick up the path once again.
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