When I started this book I was immediately hooked... but, half way though it became a drag.
The way the story is formed, with having two (and later three) character points that are narrated by different people, is fun and interesting in the beginning... but I found Allison Hiroto's voice to bug me more and more as her character was overly portrait. Her character's story was especially detailed to a point of hearing exactly what dishes she ordered in a restaurant or the plain minutia of her life that didn't seem to relate to the story and with that came the mistakes... Characters are described in such detail that some things they say and/or do seems not to match what was described before..They almost became caricatures of themselves.
It seemed like the author didn't anticipate the audience to be smart enough to fill in the blanks (sometimes its better to not explain everything in great detail).
This probably sounds very vague and I understand that for some people this might be a great book.. but I found myself not caring about the characters halfway though.. And if you don't care what happens to the main characters of a story it kinda ends there.
I wonder if there is something lost in translation.
I don't regret getting this book since I got many great hours of reading out of it.. I just wish it would have been more engaging.
Storyline...Rad Fem serial killer meets lackluster geek and they live happily ever after. Man, I'm really getting sick of all these contemporary authors trying to sell books to mindless feminists who mostly buy books. That pretty much sums up all American Art at this time. Truly lame. That said, I liked the Japanese setting and would like to know more about the culture. There were also some themes and characters in here that rang a bell. The writing was pretty good and the narrator, Marc Vietor, who also narrated my all time fav book, "Lucifer's Hammer", did an amazingly good job on the main character Tengo Kwan.
This was my first but not my last Haruki Murakami book.
I bought this book because it was described as Sci Fi and on so many Best Books of 2011 lists. In my opinion this book is a love story with a little Sci Fi thrown in.
The writing in this book is beautiful. The descriptions in the book are simple and almost unnervingly vivid at the same time. But…this is a long book with a slow pace. The story, although not uninteresting, unfold very slowly.
If you like fast paced books with big payoffs at the end, this book is not for you. I don’t mind books that leave loose ends but I could understand why some people would be disappointed after 42hours.
I’m conflicted about this book. The last book to leave me this conflicted was One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
In the end...this book reminds me of Music by Chanting Monks. The first time I listened I thought it was incredibly beautiful. But after an hour I thought…”that’s enough Chanting Monks” and I put in different music.
All the characters described were pretty lifelike and quite believable despite the sometimes unbelievable story.
One long story of so many scenes...
I am not sure the end justified the means.
The female narrator, Allison Hiroto, is so absolutely annoying to listen to that she actually makes it very easy to hate one of the main characters, thus ruining the book for me. I can't imagine who cast this person, but they should get a hearing aid prior to losing their job. Hiroto over enunciates every word, sounding stiff and impersonal. Nobody talks like this naturally for good reason. That's because it is ANNOYING! I'll sum it up by saying that she pronounces the
I like least the female narrator. When I was listening to the female character kill someone and it just sounded like she was reading. I think I even heard her swallow.I also didn't think the lesbian encounter that she was remembering while walking down the stairs in the first chapter pertained to anything! The female character was just a male fantasy. All of the sex was just stupid and didn't seem to add any value to the story.
Description of the surronding make things come alive. However I thought his was too much. It was also repetitive. I didn't think it helped direct the story in any direction. For example I did not understand why I needed to know that the female ate a vegetarian diet to help prevent constipation.
After 8 hours of listening, I found nothing to convince me to go further. If even one character had seemed real to me I might have persevered, but the humans in this story were all unpalatable, distant and gave me no reason to root for any of them. Not caring whether any of them lived or died, loved or hated, laughed or cried - I stopped listening.
No offense to the editor, but the story could have been half as long. The characters are constantly repeating themselves like a soap opera that reviews what happened in the previous episode. The beginning of the story if very engaging and intriguing as the author presents the characters and their world, however, the story drags on and the author seems focused on describing, remembering, and rehashing sex scenes rather than advancing the plot.
This book is different from most. It is a mixture of the Japanese anime style and Manga in a long novel. I watched anime when I was younger, and this seems very much in the style of Naruto in its approach to character development and philosophy.
On the other hand, my main objection with the story is that sex is the main topic. Some sex is never bad in a story, but the characters seem obsessed with analyzing their sexual exploits. It gets quite tacky.
One other complaint, is that the main characters are rather weak, boring, and unlikable. I feel more connection with the character who arrives in part4 (don't want to give away the plot), than either of the previous main characters.
Narrators did a fabulous job. The reading was clear and well balanced, giving life and emotion to the story.
It is unique, and the reading is done quite well.
Summary: Editor should have cut half the pages without any loss of detail or meaning. The story is more about sex, than anything else: description of sex, memories of sex, and bizarre sex. I don't expect to see a movie made out of this, but if it is, it would be X-rated.
This book is my first experience with Murakami. This book is without a doubt a unique piece of literature. I figured that with all of the hype that I needed to give it a try. The best way for me to describe it is that it starts out fairly normal and slowly the reality unravels as the supernatural takes it place. With almost 47 hours of listening getting through this book requires a true investment of time. I feel that it is worth it. I enjoyed the voice acting of the 3 narrators and appreciated how their voices interacted with each other's. The novel is actually split up into 3 books that were released in Japan at separate times. As I went further and further down the rabbit hole that is this book, I was compelled to continue reading to see where the bizarre was all leading. Some readers may be disappointed in the ending of this book as Murakami doesn't leave the book with all of the story lines tied up nicely with a pretty bow. I, however, really appreciate how the author ends things. It is as if he is saying "I didn't wrap-up all of the story lines because in the end only one story line matters. The rest is just details." The other story lines remind me of what Hitchcock termed a MacGuffin, an element of a story used to drive the plot but serves no other purpose. This novel may not be for everyone but it is for those who appreciate a story that is in and of itself compelling while at the same time encourages quite a bit of thought on the part of the reader.
Beautifully written. Great and interesting Story; however, it was way too repetitive with many irrelevant details. Never thought I would see the day when I would have preferred an abridged version of any book. At one point, I had to answer my phone and didn't turn off my ipod. When I returned to the story, I hadn't missed much....need I say more? To finish the book, I took one reviewer's advice and sped up the narration. The narration was very well done and kept me interested--even with the increased speed!