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Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World Audiobook

Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Information is everything in Hard-boiled Wonderland. A specialist encrypter is attacked by thugs with orders from an unknown source, is chased by invisible predators, and dates an insatiably hungry librarian who never puts on weight. In the End of the World a new arrival is learning his role as dream-reader. But there is something eerily disquieting about the changeless nature of the town and its fable-like inhabitants.
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Publisher's Summary

Information is everything in Hard-boiled Wonderland. A specialist encrypter is attacked by thugs with orders from an unknown source, is chased by invisible predators, and dates an insatiably hungry librarian who never puts on weight. In the End of the World a new arrival is learning his role as dream-reader. But there is something eerily disquieting about the changeless nature of the town and its fable-like inhabitants. Told in alternate chapters, the two stories converge and combine to create a novel that is surreal, beautiful, thrilling and extraordinary.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2010 Naxos AudioBooks (P)2010 Naxos AudioBooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (971 )
5 star
 (438)
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.2 (801 )
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (793 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (5)
Performance
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  •  
    Gwen McRae Los Angeles, CA 90232 04-15-16
    Gwen McRae Los Angeles, CA 90232 04-15-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    15
    7
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    "A fun and thought provoking adventure"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked how real and relatable the main character felt.


    What does Adam Sims and Ian Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Hearing the two different reading styles was a constant reminder of what world you were in. Helpful and also creative


    Who was the most memorable character of Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World and why?

    I liked the shadow - he was sassy.


    Any additional comments?

    Loved this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reviews by L Odessa, TX United States 12-17-15
    Reviews by L Odessa, TX United States 12-17-15 Member Since 2014

    Snotty, elitist lawyer who reads too much and is kind too little.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
    ratings
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    97
    38
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    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Overhyped"
    What did you like best about Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World? What did you like least?

    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.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Not more Murakami.


    What about Adam Sims and Ian Porter ’s performance did you like?

    They were competent performances.


    Was Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World worth the listening time?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Moya Muñoz 09-18-15 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    6
    Overall
    "Magical"

    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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin 09-04-15
    Justin 09-04-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    3
    2
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    "Classic novel suffers from uneven narration"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ernesto Lomeli san francisco, ca United States 05-24-15
    Ernesto Lomeli san francisco, ca United States 05-24-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story ,, poor narration"

    Great story
    I liked the idea of 2 narrators but one of them was just too much. Felt like he overpowered the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Rodriguez california 05-14-15
    N. Rodriguez california 05-14-15 Member Since 2012

    the ellocin

    ratings
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    5
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "what a wild journey"

    unexpected original storyline...and unicorns...everything I never knew I wanted...great book I highly recommend to those looking for a journey in Japan and the end of the world

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Graeme Sydney, Australia 05-03-15
    Graeme Sydney, Australia 05-03-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    57
    ratings
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    120
    57
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    1
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    "Ethereal"

    The first HM book that didn't draw me in and engage me. It has that familiar weird charm and hey this book even has an ending that I'm going to pass as a satisfying resolution (Murakami is often happy to leave loose ends reeeaaallly loose).
    I still really enjoyed HM's writing and it kept me interested enough to get through the book in a week or so but putting fantasy aside, I couldn't buy into the insufficiently fleshed out story about the Data War between the Calcutecs and the Semiotecs. It was all just too vague and ethereal to me. This and the underground world of the Inklings that seemed to have no real point kept my engagement at arms length. I floated through this part of the story looking for something solid to hang onto but it was just all so wispy and aloof.
    I finished the book feeling like maybe I'd rushed through reading it and I'd missed something blindingly obvious. I'll probably revisit this one in a few years to see if the second times a charm.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucinda 04-08-15
    Lucinda 04-08-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Breath taking"

    Haruki Murakami writes with a sense of imagination that I find myself bringing to life in my dreams. This is the third I have heard of his, loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renata Roberts baltimore 03-31-15
    Renata Roberts baltimore 03-31-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Expectional"

    I had no idea where the author would take me on this adventure. I was always surprised and never let down!
    Great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Hillside, NJ, United States 03-22-15
    Steven Hillside, NJ, United States 03-22-15 Member Since 2013

    "Audio-phile"

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    41
    37
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    "I Really Wanted To Enjoy This More..."

    Okay, So this is my second completed Murikami book. I really am torn by this author. His writing style absolutely puzzles me at times. The first Murikami book I read was 1Q84. A book that while parts of it were very unneseccary in my opinion, it left me really really moved and I consider it a favorite of mine. I was really hoping for the same level of 'dualism' that was present in 1Q84. To a certain extent there was.

    My biggest complaint with Hard Boiled Wonderland (HBW) is that it falls into so many cliches and cheesy dialogue that really distracts from the story. I'll cite two examples. The first is that Murikami flirts with perversion way too much for my liking. His women are these overly sexual cliches that create distracting literary potholes. I'm reading, enjoying the normal sensible dialogue, then he goes off on a tangent describing women's panties, sexual habits, the main character's hidden sexual desires, fetishes, etc.. All of this is fine...IF it had any bearing on the story. Forgive me for any spoilers:

    The grandfather's daughter makes numerous advances and these completely unrealistic ways of hinting that she wants to sleep with the main character. This leads to some pretty unrealistic, cheesy dialogue that just makes me groan. The same crap was done in 1Q84. Larges parts of that book were designated to completely unneeded scenes of sexual perversion that had absolutely no effect on the story.

    Murikami does this far too often, and to be honest, it's annoying and really takes away from the story.

    Anyway onto the good parts! What I did enjoy with this story is that it presents two completely different stories up front. In fact not only are they different characters and places, but even the writing style is different. One is written in a more straight forward fiction novel. That has very faint traces of cyber punk/ dystopia themes. (color me interested already!) The other story is written more like an allegory, where the use of metaphors is common and the characters talk in cliched tones. I was very off put by this storyline at first, as I thought the characters were all just overly cool motifs that were trying to be wise and mysterious. I think this was more of an issue with me, because of the narrator, who made every character in the other 'world' sound like a chain smoker... Anyway, once I began reading a bit longer, and I saw where the over all story was going, I realized that there was a point to all of this, which actually makes sense. Kudos to Murikami for the creativity on this one. Both stories are very much linked. Murikami does indeed have a way of bringing two seemingly separate stories together nicely.

    That being said, I don't think he went far enough. Tying everything together I'd have liked to see a stronger link and some wrapping up of the main character and his...other side. I get the concept of leaving it to the imagination, but c'mon! Things end pretty abruptly, and not even an epilogue! Anyway I enjoyed the book... but I'd have loved to see more interaction between the worlds. I thought this might actually be the case, where the character does something in one world, and it effects the other character is his 'world'. (i'm a sucker for cross world/dimension/time interaction and effects)

    An enjoyable storyline, marred by Murikami's usual babbling, If you enjoy a surrealism, with a pinch of cyberpunk,

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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