©2006 Haruki Murakami; (P)2006 Naxos AudioBooks
I will miss traveling with Toru Okada through his strange world. This books stays with you for awhile. The narrator, Rupert Degas, was great; I even checked to see if there weren't two readers: one male and the other female. I look forward to listening to more from Murakami.
I first read this book in its paper form, and loved it. I loved it even more the second time through on audiobook.
One caveat: while the reader does an excellent job with the male voices, he doesn't do quite so well with the female voices. I think he makes the women sound much more unintelligent than I think was intended by Murakami. Despite that, it is still quite a good listen.
the girl she is trenched by life
the girl and the boy in the well
Where to start with this one? OK, just to get this out of the way, you know how people use the phrase "to be comfortable in one's own skin"? Well, let's just say that after this book, I can't hear that phrase without blanching and wanting to scream almost to the point of madness "Stop saying that!!"
The story overall is pretty mind bending stuff. Don't expect to make sense of it all or you'll go mad. Enjoy it for what it is and try not to think too hard. Trying to find deeper meaning in a Murakami book (but especially this one) may leave you a bit loony.
As always, Murakami's imagination is second to none. The narrator did such a great job that for most of the book, I had assumed there were 2 narrators - one doing the guys and one doing the women. That's how good his female voices were.
Overall I loved this book. However, (and I am totally serious here) a cryptic word of warning - with this book, once you listen to it, you can't ever UNlisten to it. There is a section of the book which, while totally and utterly brilliant, may seriously make some people wish that they had never listened to this book in the first place.
As a fan of David Lynch and other inscrutable directors and writers, I found this one to really be a slog. Made it all the way through but in the end I am not very sure I get what the hubbub is all about. My suggestion is to take 18 of your hours and spend them somewhere else.
I just could not get into this book. I loved the narrator, but the story was hard to follow.
It hasn't. I just wound up dreading having to listen to it
I can't tell
The narrator was great. I really enjoyed listening to how he performed the different characters.
I have read 1Q84 and I enjoyed that, but this was such a bore to me
Murakami crafts a story so deftly, and so uniquely, as to spoil you for traditional linear storytelling forever. Or is it for past? Or for alternate reality?
Simply excellent, and with outstanding narration to boot.
I don't like graphic sex in my books.
I don't like graphic sex in my books.
I don't like graphic sex in my books.
I really enjoyed this surreal and charming novel. After just finishing reading it, my initial thought is that the charm of the story will be the thing I will end up remembering it for. As an actual story, not a lot actually happens - like an episode of Seinfeld set in the Twilight Zone. Haruki Murakami takes a lost cat, an unemployed man, a series of strange phone calls, a marital split and offbeat characters, adds some seemingly irrelevant subplots involving a Japanese WW2 survivor and psychics and weaves a tale that goes everywhere yet nowhere. I was also amazed at how well a novel translated from Japanese can hold up as literature when read in English.
This is the second Murakami novel I have read and like the first (1Q84), the book dissolves into a vague ending where you are left wondering how all the various strands related to each other. That is sure to frustrate a lot of readers' but Murakami's magic seems to me to be the charm of the world you are entering when you begin reading his novels and the journey he takes you on.
6' kicking it like a champ! Boooom!
My wife has been begging me to download this book for the longest time. So glad I finally did it.
The translation from Japanese to English was nearly flawless in my opinion.
I love the story. The way Haruki Murakami writes makes me feel like I'm tripping on LSD while listening. He gets in you head in such a way that I almost feel like I'm hallucinating and not listening to a book, but actually watching a really weird Japanese Anime movie in my mind. Very Cool!!
My one and only MAJOR complaint was that narration by Rupert Degas. Specifically, when he reads as a girl character. He sounds completely disturbing and I was actually getting douche chills while listening. The 1st time I heard him read as "May", I almost stopped listening... Not kidding, it that disturbing!!!
An amazing story, which was brought alive by Rupert Degas' brilliant narration. I can't recommend it enough.
"Odd story, brilliant narrator"
No, whilst I enjoyed the book, I wouldn't listen again.
I've never read anything like Murakami, so I could only compare this to 1Q84.
I feel Rupert Degas brings a lot to the story. He reads very clearly and with wonderful characterisations.
"A great story"
A mother triumph for the author . Please read this book with the understanding you are about to be taken by the hand to a beautiful and violent place .
"Hard to understand"
Its so long!! And hard to understand maybe its better to read vs listening. Sad ending.
"Just rather odd"
I chose this book due to previous rave reviews. I had never read anything by this author, and like to vary my listening. I guess this just wasn't my cup of tea. I didn't empathise with the very strange protagonist and his weird sexual fantasies, and I didn't really care what happened to him either in the present or in the future - in fact it seems perfectly understandable that both his wife and his cat might have had the desire to do a runner. The other characters were in equal measure odd and dull, and I found their extremely lengthy ramblings on the meaning of life mind numbingly boring. I found the story bizarre in the extreme, and I didn't enjoy the more brutal scenes. I'm sure there is plenty of deep meaning, there are definitely threads of symmetry in the intertwined tales, and I have no doubt that you could study this book and come up with some great essays on literary technique, but as entertainment, it did absolutely nothing for me, and I couldn't wait for it to end. And the ending? Like the rest of the book, an uneventful disappointment.
"Unique and engrossing"
This is the second Murakami I have read and I really like his writing. Bit surreal but in a worldly way. Powerful main story with others intertwined. Fabulous characters brought vividly to life by Mr Degas (a top class narrator). Love his use of language - feels like quality.
"Amazing narration, weirdly interesting book"
a David Lynch movie
It was quite a lengthy book but the amazing narration actually made it possible to go through
"Miss one sentence and you could miss the story."
Murakami is master of every detail yet can hide the larger ones right till the end.
Rupert Degas is phenomenal as every character there is no limit to his capabilities.
"Well worth the listen"
As the far as the audio element it was on a par with most of what I've listened to; not noticeably better but definitely not poor.
It's hard for me to think of a good comparison, in many ways very little happens in the book and there's no climactic point to the story. But to me that was the point, it was interesting and full of content, and a refreshing change to a lot of what's out there. I don't know if that's true of Japanese novels or if it's specific to Murakami, but I've read several of his books (and am making my way through the rest) and I recommend trying them.
I can't describe an exact emotion, but I was definitely emotionally invested in the characters, they were brilliantly written.
"Not sure what to think about it"
The storyline is interesting and would not change a thing.
The female character has is interesting. You know that she holds the mystery but have to wait for her to reveal it.
I hated it and that is the reason why I only gave the book 3 stars. I have no doubts that he might have actic skills but his voice and a way he was acting characters out was annoying!
Not sure as the book is a slow paste with no much dynamic and this does not sale.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.