"I have absolutely no idea what I just listened to!"
Excellent narrator and despite being a fan of Marakami's previous books, this one was particularly weird (more so than usual). I'm still trying to figure out what it was about and what actually happened!
I purchased this in a daily deal and feel a little bit like I shouldn't be complaining at all, however this was a complete waste of time.
It got to about half way through and plummeted to a steep death. At which point I only continued listening as a means of getting it over with.
"Neither beginning nor end was clear"
I did not enjoy this as much as I enjoyed 1Q84. (Ushikawa the detective is in both books, portrayed as a even less likable character in this one). Kafka on the shore was also much better than this IMHO.
why didn't I like it? too many loose ends, and not as gripping as I was hoping. The fact that the ending does not make sense did not upset me, I have come to accept that from Mr M.
The use of metaphor is as always out of the world, but again unlike the 'we are in this boat down the swift stream' metaphor in 1Q84, there wasn't a single metaphor that carried through the book, at least not that I could tell.
I learnt quite a bit about the Japan-China conflict in Munchukuo, the graphic descriptions of violence and torture was quite surreal.
Finally, the narration is superb, the rendering of several voices is convincing.
"A vocal tour de force by the narrator!"
Typically random and rambling in parts. Dark and surreal but always interesting and intriguing. I loved Lieutenant Mamia's stories about the war. But the highlight was Rupert Degas' narration. He held what must have been difficult voices for long, long periods and gave each character a different and complete persona and voice.
"Disjointed but Enjoyable"
The Wind Up Bird Chronicle is like… I've got this friend, he always talks about himself in great detail and never asks me about me - some people don’t like him and think him self obsessed, but I enjoy listening to him and find his constant self examination enthralling.
The Wind up Bird lacks structure, it does not have much of a plot and as the title suggests can only loosely be understood as a single story. It consists instead of a series of mini stories presented in the form of long letters, long phone calls, long conversations and so on and so forth. However, I found the mini stories rich and compelling, as if I had sat down on a bus full of strangers and one at a time each person had told me something about them that nobody else knew.
Narration - I am a huge Rupert Degas fan, however in this novel he seems to really struggle with the voices of the various female characters, and all bar one (Kumiko) seem over exaggerated.
sorry too slow and weird for me couldn't finish it back to cops and robbers for me
"I hate this book!"
*contains spoilers* This book is terrible. I hate it so much I would like to punch the author and not stop until he is comatose and can never inflict this garbage on the world. I only finished it due to a book club commitment. The characters are not believable, relatable or sympathetic. The story is rambling and riddled with extraneous detail which add nothing to the story. Personally I would kick the lead to the curb long before his wife does. Where are his friends, interests, life? How could any intelligent human live like him? If you like the occult in a 'normal' setting, read the far superior James Oswald.
"The best "long" Murakami book"
High, it's a long listen but compared to 1Q84 a much better story.
I don't really want to spoil the story but there's a bit in Manchuria that will stick with you.
Reasonable to good understanding of Japanese names and their pronunciations, which often becomes frustrating in other audio adaptions of Murakami books. He does a surprising good job at the female voices.
No, it will get a bit tedious and events will start to blend... also it's too long for that. The best way to enjoy it is in chunks of a couple of hours.
If you enjoyed "Norwegian Wood", "Kafka on the Shore", and "A Wild Sheep Chase" this is the next level up to get through Murakami's excellent repertoire.
An amazing story, which was brought alive by Rupert Degas' brilliant narration. I can't recommend it enough.
"Odd story, brilliant narrator"
No, whilst I enjoyed the book, I wouldn't listen again.
I've never read anything like Murakami, so I could only compare this to 1Q84.
I feel Rupert Degas brings a lot to the story. He reads very clearly and with wonderful characterisations.