''The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle'' (Japanese: ねじまき鳥クロニクル, ''Nejimaki-dori Kuronikuru'') is a novel by Creator/HarukiMurakami. One of his most critically acclaimed and popular works, it opens with the life of Toru Okada, currently unemployed, and his marriage to his wife, Kumiko. One day their cat goes missing. It was first published in three parts during 1994-1995.

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!!This novel provides examples of:

* AbusiveParents: Let's face it. Kumiko's parents were absolute shit to ''all'' of their children.
* AffablyEvil: Noboru Wataya is more of a VillainWithGoodPublicity, but you have to admit, he has an excellent TV personality. Also Boris the Manskinner in Lieutenant Mamiya's story.
* AuthorAppeal: Apparently, the author has quite a thing for wells and classical music.
* AuthorTract: A good portion of the work concerns the Japanese occupation of Manchuria (Manchukuo) during the 1930's and WorldWarII. Murakami makes no bones about calling the whole affair out as having been a Very Bad Idea.
* BatterUp: Toru's weapon of choice is a baseball bat and [[BewareTheNiceOnes despite his mild-mannered exterior he shows himself to be capable of great violence.]]
* BigScrewedUpFamily: between AbusiveParents and [[BrotherSisterIncest Noboru's one-sided crush on the eldest sister]], it's no surprise Kumiko was traumatized for a long time.
* BittersweetEnding:[[spoiler:Toru finds peace with himself to some degree, but Kumiko murders Noboru and ends up in jail, separating the two from each other permanently.]]
* CaughtWithYourPantsDown: A rare non-comedic example. When Kumiko was younger she walked in on [[{{Squick}} Noboru Wataya masturbating]] [[BrotherSisterIncest to their dead sister's underwear.]]
* CoolBigSis: Kumiko's sister was the only thing that made living in their household bearable to Kumiko. When she died...
** Malta Kano. Kind of.
* CloudCuckooLander: May Kasahara. A bit more levelheaded than most examples, but definitely out there.
** It's a bizarre thing when the CloudCuckooLander is by far, one of the most normal and sensible people in the story. The other characters aren't nearly as far out in terms of their thought process, but this is countered by their actions and jobs being outwardly strange (a mind prostitute and her incredibly vague older sister with psychic abilities, a fashion designer who goes out of her way to buy the people around her perfect wardrobes, a dimwitted lackey who cannot stop talking about how stupid and horrible he is to the point where he forgets his reasons for entering the main character's house without permission, and Noboru).
** All that said, May Kasahara is the only one who thought it would be fun to cover her boyfriends eyes ''while he was driving his motorcycle''. Actually, she didn't even do it for fun; she just felt like doing it.
* [[ChekhovsGun Chekhov's Baseball Bat]]
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: See FlayingAlive, below.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: Pretty much everyone except Toru. He has a dark and troubled present instead.
* {{Determinator}}: Toru Okada becomes a surprising example of one of these as the book goes on, not giving up his search despite the increasingly bizarre, disturbing, and frightening things going on around him.
* TheDogBitesBack: Toru and Kumiko finally get their revenge on Noboru Wataya.
* DoorStopper
* DreamSequence
* EpiphanicPrison: Toru's well.
* EroticDream: Introducing Creta Kano: [[MentalAffair prostitute of the mind!]]
* Fiction500: Nutmeg and Cinnamon.
* FlayingAlive: Lieutenant Mamiya witnessed this happen during his service in Manchuria during WorldWar2; his recollection of the event to Toru is horrifying.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: the woman who calls Toru for phone sex knows a LOT about him.
* FullNameBasis: May Kasahara, Malta Kano, Creta Kano, Noboru Wataya.
* GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion: After [[spoiler: Kumiko]] finds out she's pregnant, she gets an abortion despite her husband supporting the idea of raising a child. [[spoiler:She mostly seems to be a "good girl" up to this point, but the story of the abortion is the first indication that she has a DarkSecret.]]
* GoodPeopleHaveGoodSex: Sadly subverted.
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Toru gets an inky blue mark on his face during one of his trips to the hotel.
* HarassingPhoneCall: The novel begins with the narrator keeps getting phone calls from some an unidentified woman trying to initiate phone sex, which starts the chain of strange events that follow him after.
* HauntedHouse: The infamous hanging house, though it falls more under IndianBurialGround.
* HealingHands: Nutmeg and later [[spoiler: Toru]] have the ability to take away people's emotional pain and stress with their touch.
* HouseHusband: Toru, while Kumiko is the breadwinner. They're both quite happy with this.
* HowUnscientific: The book generally fits into MagicalRealism quite well, but the hotel scenes push things into Fantasy territory more than once.
* IntergenerationalFriendship: Toru (who's in his mid thirties) and May (who's in her mid-teens).
* LampshadeHanging: The narrator states when his wife disappears that "I felt as if I had become part of a badly written novel, that someone was taking me to task for being utterly unreal. And perhaps it was true."
* MagicRealism: Pretty much par for the course for Murakami works, but this one goes rather darker than most of his other works.
* MindScrew: Pretty much the entire book past Chapter 3 or so...
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: "Boris The Manskinner".
* OddFriendship: Toru and May.
* OhCrap: The phone rings and Toru, expecting it to be the phone sex lady, says something like "Is this the person who phones me regularly? I don't like to talk about sex before breakfast." It's not the phone sex lady.
* OnTheMoney: Toru needs money to buy [[spoiler: the plot of land with the well.]] He meets Nutmeg by sitting on a bench observing people walking by.
* OrWasItADream: The book is practically ''built'' on symbolic dreams.
* ThePasswordIsAlwaysSwordfish: The passwords for Cinnamon's computer are "Zoo" and "Sub", relating to the stories his mother told him.
** Later on, invoked by Ushikawa.
* PerkyGoth: May Kasahara is the Japanese equivalent.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Noboru Wataya to Toru. [[ShutUpHannibal Toru responds in kind]], [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome warning Noboru Wataya not to be so quick to dismiss him.]]
* RidiculouslyAverageGuy: Toru. In an unconventional use of the trope, PlayedForDrama in Noboru Wataya's massive TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Toru is mediocre, a nobody, insignficant, and does not deserve Kumiko and was never going to amount to anything--[[KickTheDog Wataya drives the knife in further by implying that that's why Kumiko left him.]]
* ScrewTheRulesIHavePlot
* ShadowArchetype: Toru Okada, the protagonist, and Noburu Wataya are described by Creta Kano as complete opposites, with each one serving as a representation of what the other person loathes most. No wonder they hate each other so much.
* SmugSnake: Noboru Wataya comes across as this, especially to Toru.
* TalkativeLoon: Quite a few of the characters.
* TomatoSurprise: The identity of the woman in the hotel room, the same one who was calling Toru for phone sex. [[spoiler: It's Kumiko.]]
** This is actually left very ambiguous. [[spoiler: Toru assumes that it is Kumiko, though her voice only changes to that of Kumiko's when he addresses this. Even still afterwards, she changes to two other voices and tries to make him doubt whether or not he had it right - though he is pretty sure.]] It doesn't help that [[spoiler: she is never actually seen, even going as far to make Toru promise not to shine the light from his pen upon her face.]]
* TroubledButCute: May Kasahara, who covered her boyfriend's eyes while he was driving his motorcycle.
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Noburu Wataya is an incredibly famous author and TV personality, and by the end of the book he's being considered for a position on Japan's Diet.
* TheVoiceless: Cinnamon lost his ability to speak after a traumatic dream in his childhood. He can still communicate effectively via an idiosyncratic form of sign language.
* ThrownDownAWell: Toru spends a rather large amount of time in the well in the 'hanging house'.
** Also Lieutenant Mamiya which is where Toru gets the idea.
* WeNamedTheMonkeyJack: The narrator named his cat Noburu Wataya after his hated brother-in-law. The cat gets a better name later on, after Toru decides that it was unfair to the animal.
* WhyCouldntYouBeDifferent: Kumiko's parents were never satisfied with her, and constantly compared her to her sister, even forcing her to play the piano like her sister used to before she died. [[spoiler: This is the direct cause for her crippling inferiority complex, which is later manipulated by Noburu.]]
* WorstNewsJudgementEver: The local newspaper seems to put a ridiculous amount of effort into investigating who bought a "haunted" plot of land. The reader knows that [[spoiler:the brother-in-law of a prominent politician bought the house with money from a bizarre, high-class quasi-prostitution ring for mystical purposes]], but the newspaper doesn't.