I have read most of the Murakami novels. Overall I enjoyed this book but with some reservations. My two cents.
1. Strong narrator performance.
2. Usual Murakami magic realism.
1. Over-bloated. 1/3rd too long. The author had material only for two books. Third book-part is so boringly slow. Too much overlap between story lines when characters are basically stepping on each other toes and figuring out the same puzzle parts again and again.
2. Far-fetched love story axis (like in chic lit) made me roll my eyes many times while listening to the book. Some kind of not really believable Japanese version of Odysseus.
For Murakami first novel readers:
1. Be aware that novel is spiced up with some sex scenes. This should be nothing new for the person who read several Murakami novels.
2. Not the best Murakami novel as first read.
well, there were some phillip k dick moments, but overall I am very disappointed.
During 3rd hour of listening there is abrupt shift in story line of one character and other characters. My first thought was like wow: the narrator mixed the papers took out 50pages or so and appended them at the end of novel. I have listened to all the book and still can not shake off the feeling of some audio editor screw up :) At first I thought to request back my money from audible. Then I checked amazon reviews and wiki. It seems that this P.K.Dick novel has very messy publishing history. If it is not audio editor screw up, then they took some screwed up published version. Save your time you should not be paying your money and having such thoughts.
BTW I checked with some online PDF version (that claims to be the final final version) the pages that I am complaining are back in place and the story is 50% longer.
Well complete mess what can I say. In the case it is audio editing screw up I am reviewing 7 hours 16min length version :)
Description of the shift: We have a far from earth totalitarian planet. There are two ways to get there: 18year trip using ship(with round-trip option) or 15min teleport(only one way). One main character made a decision to take 18 year trip, doing all the preparations. Next chapter the character is preparing to enter teleport chamber. Why? What circumstances made to change his mind? Well in the last pages of the novel you get the missing pages with an ending that feels kind of abrupt.
author have done thorough scientific research, but he is not philip k dick :), although he tried to do his best. And, yes, secular readers should be prepared to a dose of paragraphs with christian view.
I am in the progress of listening to this book.
So for I am interested.
One minor thing that pissed me off:
Audio book chapters are not mapped to audible format chapters. You get to skip in chunks of 70minutes and get in the middle of book chapter.
This is true for format 4. Big thumbs down to audio publisher for this screw up.
Ok, but I should apply mindfulness technique on this irritation :)
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