Thursday, 7 April 2011

Thoughts: Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami

I got this book for my birthday and as I always wanted to pick up another Murakami, I decided to give it a go, although ... I first thought I would not like the book at all. Because the description of the story on the back cover sounded much more sci-fi than to my liking. Luckily it wasn't.

Murakami draws two alternate worlds, one where a calculator encrypts scientific data in his head, to protect it from something like a data-mafia. He gets into trouble not knowing why, but soon he discovers it has to do with his latest job. The second world is set in a strange town surrounded by a high wall only birds can overcome. Unicorns are living in the town and people who don't know how they got there. At first the worlds seem fairly unrelated and I already wondered if Murakami wanted to keep me in the dark. I should have known better than to mistrust the author, because in the end, though not all made perfect sense, I was not left clueless. The way to the end was a little exhausting. I think I felt like that, because like in the Wind-Up-Bird-Chronicle, some of the story takes place under the earth, in complete darkness, the protagonist is in a hurry and he fears to be snatched away by some specimen living underground. I felt uncomfortable reading it.

Nevertheless there always is something about a Murakami novel that keeps me on the edge. I always want to grab the deeper sense, and if I fail I enjoy some of his beautiful prose, as Murakami knows about the miseries of the individual.


  1. Wow! Your last paragraph is exquisite, and exactly the way I feel. Only, you said it so perfectly. It's nice to read my complicated, but complimentary, feelings about his work stated so accurately by you.