The quality of the reader's voice and his tone was just unbearable. I give the story 5 stars because it is Murakami. But I have no idea because it was too grating to endure.
There are problems with the narration, which is unfortunate because for the most part the guy's voice is easy to listen to. That said, when you have to pull out a dictionary, search google, and ultimately consult an e-book to determine if the guy's pronunciation is off, or if Murakami is making up new words for the story there's a problem. For example, the word "sanctuary" is used many times throughout the novel, and yet the narrator insists on pronouncing it "SANG-turry." Another example is the word "pathos" in which he says "path - aws" every time it appears in the text. These and similar mispronunciations will be distracting to readers who are used to hearing these words.
Beyond that, if you've read a lot of Haruki Murakami and are just coming across this book, you may be a disappointed that this book deviates from his usual formula of having a painfully ordinary guy placed in a fantastic circumstance, because the protagonist of the first narrative is anything but ordinary. So much that it took me nearly a third of the book to realize that it wasn't a strange world that the story was unfolding it, it was a guy with a strange background interacting with what he knows. I much prefer the style of his later books.
Strange characters. strange story. lots going on but no real point to anything. it did keep me interested to anything the end though.
sometimes Mr murakami tells incredible stories and sometimes he rambles incoherently. either that or there are important nuances lost in the translation from Japanese to English. this was a very bizarre, very disjointed, and at times moderately misogynistic story about a guy losing his mind. I don't know, maybe I just missed the brilliant part, but it's definitely not a favorite.
Quite an unusual story. I don't know what to make of it, as a matter of fact. I've re-read the last chapter and the story is still very opaque to me. Kind of seems like a metaphor for mental illness.
Definitely. I got forced into reading this book by a book club - I hate sci-fi, or anything "not real," this however transcended genres and felt like a fun adventure that constantly was making me think.
I liked how real and relatable the main character felt.
Hearing the two different reading styles was a constant reminder of what world you were in. Helpful and also creative
I liked the shadow - he was sassy.
Loved this book!
Snotty, elitist lawyer who reads too much and is kind too little.
I liked Hard-Boiled Wonderland more than the End of the World. What I liked least about it was the typical "oh I'm so literary let me write about a bunch of superfluous sex because that's how you know I'm literary" bullshit Murakami pulls.
Not more Murakami.
They were competent performances.
Sure. I mean, Murakami isn't a terrible writer, he's just not as good as some people. This is a good story, but not a great one.
Yet more fantasy fiction that has pretensions to literacy. Which is fine. As far as stories go, this one was not terrible, but not exactly great either. The narrative structure was fairly cool, and there were some great scenes, but overall Murakami was being his usual slightly-better-than-mediocre self.
I love Murakami. I think this is up there with The Wind up Bird Chronicle for me. Having two actors read each voice made the distinction between them even more stark, one sounded young and modern and the other older and more solemn. How the mystery of both parallel worlds unfolds and the descriptions are totally riveting. Had a surreal experience running at dawn through a park as the second narrator described the Town and the unicorns, I felt like I could see the scene in front of me as the sun began to tint the sky and the trees. Not your typical novel and go for a runner
It may not be Murakami's best but it has moments of classic Murakami strangeness and a consistent vision. Dual narration is an interesting choice but would have been better with Rupert Degas doing both characters.