The reader pronounced every nuanced vowel in a way that didn't feel effortless, but forced. I would have preferred a different reader.
The story was good, and I could see it being a great read...just not a great listen.
I listen to audiobooks in the car commuting to work and although I wanted to like this book, I couldn't focus on DC traffic and hold the story at the same time. I found myself having to re-listen to chapters because I had no idea what was going on. For me, the story had too many characters with too much jargon for a semi-passive listen - it requires more focus than I could give it while driving.
This was my first Murakami novel and I think I would have done better starting with another. Those more familiar with his style and previous works seemed to have enjoyed this book more than I did (according to the reviews).
I purchased the audio book when it first came out, before many of the reviews of the production were posted. I waited to listen because of the length of the book. Overall, I felt that the story had promise. It developed interestingly in the beginning, and the concept of the alternate reality, Aomame's profession, and the mystery and of Sakigake created suspense. Tengo was a relatively uninteresting character and thus not a necessarily "worthy" love interest to Aomame. But the narration of Aomame defied her complexity and contributed to my impression of even her as boring. The ending of the novel also fell flat in my opinion, and left more questions than answers, particularly regarding the alternate reality and the little people.There was too much unnecessary description and I was left bored at many places. The narrators weren't lively in their reading, with the exception of Ushikawa, and the dull, unemotional narration detracted from the story. Perhaps I would have been better off reading rather than listening to this book.
Yes! Apart from the superb narrative, I'd revisit this book for one reason... Bronson Pinchot. I was amazed at how well he read this novel; at times it felt like it was narrated by a full cast. Wonderful portrayal of all the many characters and a great story to boot.
The one with the tiger, but I don't want to spoil it... just listen.
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