3.5 stars. If you like Murakami, you will probably enjoy this. If you have not yet read a Murakami novel, I wouldn't recommend starting with this one -- it might prevent you from reading some of the most fun and engaging literature of modern times. Try Kafka on the Shore, perhaps.
Although generally engaging (I really did enjoy listening to the book), there are too many subplots that aren't adequately resolved, which left me feeling somewhat unsatisfied when I finished the book.
I've read elswhere that the original Japanese version was "stripped down" for the English translation as it was too long, and as a result, certain storylines being cut short. This is plausible.
The narrator is excellent.
the author uses too many adjectives. every gaze must be "weary," etc. i found it too distracting to listen to.
This is a very funny book. However, I don't think Scott should be compared to Adams and Pratchett as much as he is. This is a comic novel, but Scott's style is more surreal than Adams and Pratchett's. I was occasionally reminded of Kafka by the unexpectedness of the events.
I don't think that only English authors can write funny novels. Vonnegut did okay, and he was from Indianapolis.
I also enjoyed the reader. The book is set in Santa Cruz, and the protaganist and his buddies are surfers. The reader did a great job of conveying the laid back attitude of the central California beach crowd.
Try this book out if you're looking for a funny adventure in a bizarrely imagined, not-too-distant future.
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