This novel has the standard trappings of a type of metaphysical/quirky detective story that has become somewhat common since this book was written (published 1985). What separates this novel, though, is that all the setting entirely serves the more important allegorical elements of the text. This is not to imply that the work is obtuse, as a lot of allegorical pieces are, it's actually very easy to get into and follow. If you expect the book to follow the standard course of most detective stories, however, you may be disappointed when the plot does not end in an action filled climax. Rather, the themes are allowed to play themselves out as best serves them, and the novel is far greater for it. Having just finished the book, I think I have a decent grasp on what the book is "about" but there is plenty of room for individual interpretation, discussion and re-reading, without being so ambiguous as to throw off more casual reading.
Haruki Murakami seems to have an endless imagination! In this novel he manages to create an intense examination of the meaning of 'mind' in a world ruled by the control of information collection. At times I needed to go back and re-listen to paragraphs as the deep and oblique and sometimes beautiful images float from his words and touch something deep inside.
This is no ordinary story and if you have ever questioned what it means to be 'mindful', both literally and psychologically, this book will take you away.
This is probably one of my favorite Murakami books. An incredible talent. Narration is always top rate. Great use of a credit.
I wished that I could read and understand Japanese because there are some stories that does not translate well and this is one of them. While I was reading "Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World", I just had a feeling that I was missing something from the fable. I can only imagine the obscure writing of Haruki Murakami and on how difficult it can be to translate his words into English.
After reading my disclaimer, this is a classic from Haruki Murakami because it is just a bizarre story. Your shadow is detach from your body and lives on in a different world. From what I've interpret, the shadow is trying to unite with the body in the real world and trying to get pass the gatekeeper. This is a very confusing and complex story, but as a fan of this author, I just enjoyed dissecting the story into different levels and coming to my own interpretation.
This isn't my favorite of all the Murakami works (a bit too much exposition, without the action or movement), but it was very good. The author has once again created a world that is just a bit off, but full of life, color and intrigue.
This early novel is constructed like many of the later ones, with two parallel worlds which ultimately connect. We are kept guessing but entertained throughout. Magic realism aside, Murakami always creates great characters and realistic, amusing dialogue. The reading is fine although it is a mystery to me why nobody can teach the readers how to pronounce easy Japanese words, such as common place names. I think this is true of all the Murakami books.
Yes, probably. Because it's not a simple book and many of the lines drawn are revealed along the stories and they left me wondering for a long time on many of them.. I would like to revisit them a second time to think them over with a different depht.
The revelation of the interconexion of the two worlds, inner and outer. Classic Murakami, but here explored in a very specific aproach, a bit more on the futuristic side - very interesting ideas! Deserving more thought!
Can't choose.. They are all great. But I had a lot of fun with the Pink Girl :)
This is not my favorite Murakami, but it is so rich in themes that I can't forget it.
I enjoyed this story, balanced somewhere between science-fiction and fantasy. This particular version is great and the two narrators are perfect for their parts! The only issue I had is that there are two diagrams specifically referenced in the text of the book (one diagram and I can't remember what the other one was) and there's a halt in the audio as the narrators wave their arms around (or something) in a vain attempt to indicate what you're missing out on. Don't let that dissuade you from listening if you're interested as it's not crucial to the plots, but possibly worth knowing about ahead of time.
I rarely give up on a book -- some strange sense of obligation drives me to finish it, even if I'm not enjoying it. For this book, I made an exception. After five hours, I just couldn't justify throwing more good time after bad, so I deleted the book from my iPod.
I suspect it was mainly a genre problem. Not that I could tell you, exactly, what genre this book falls in, but whatever metaphysical problems he was setting up, I just couldn't begin to be interested in them. This book was just relentlessly tedious to me. I gave it two stars because I'm willing to consider the possibility that the book isn't badly written, it's just a bad fit for me. Let me suggest that if you listen to the audio clip and think, "I have no idea why anyone would care about what he's describing," trust your instincts and move on!
I bought this audiobook based on the positive reviews it received. Murakami is a skilled writer and his touching upon subjects like consciousness and neuroscience kept me interested, as I studied both in college. Unfortunately, he didn't do either justice and nearly everything else about this book also falls flat. I felt that the story was on the verge of getting really good at several points and it never happened. Everything was sloppily addressed in broad strokes. So many parts were simply or obviously filler that had absolutely nothing to do with the plot. It was annoying, for example, when Miramaki would introduce dialogue or musings on the musical or literary tastes of the characters. It was much more an opportunity for Miramaki to crow about his own knowledge and interests. It was dry filler material that was particularly glaring because there were so many important and relevant aspects of the book that should have been explored more in-depth, but never were. Hence, plateaus, but no peaks. There was a lot of potential here, but it was wasted. This is my first review and I'd normally not waste my time...but this novel was so disappointing that I feel obligated to warn others who might also get duped into believing positive reviews = good quality. Not so.