Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fiction's Finest Nerds #4

This week's honoree is Cinnamon Akasaka from Haruki Murakami's The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (1994-5). The Wind-up Bird Chronicle involves a journey of self-discovery by the main character, Toru Okada, aka Mr. Wind-up Bird. Toru develops psychic abilities, and in the second part of the book comes to work with/for Nutmeg Asakawa, a former fashion designer and psychic, and her son Cinnamon. Their names are aliases due to the sensitive nature of their work.

Cinnamon does not speak, which makes him particularly effective in a business where clients demand discretion. He apparently has some paranormal ability inheirited from his mother—a sort of empathy that allows him to communicate effectively without normal means. When he was growing up, he decided he wanted a car, and the car he wanted was a Porsche. Rather than buying one outright, he found which year and model he wanted, bought an old one and restored it completely. He also became a computer whiz. The book is not too technical about his skill, but Cinnamon's system is a maze that only he can find his way through.

The computer eventually becomes a major part of the story, leading Toru to historical facts that tie him to his new-found abilities. Whether he is guiding Toru to these stories or not is a mystery, but he has recorded his parents' history during the Sino-Japanese war, a history that ties in to the stories of Lieutenant Mamiya, a man Toru meets when he delivers a keepsake from a dead acquaintance.

No comments:

Post a Comment