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Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
by Haruki Murakami
Edition: Paperback

50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best example of Zany-Period Murakami, 16 Oct 2001
After the controlled realism of early-period Murakami (hard to get hold of in english), he moved into a self-conciously zany phase of writing - full of ultra-bizzare happenings and experimental plot twists. This is probably the best of those works (though 'A Wild Sheep Chase' comes a close second, with the yet-to-be-reissued 'Dance, Dance, Dance' in third place). I like this book, but like those other two it feels a little overloaded and slightly too unfocused, like he's getting something out of his system.
After these works, he wrote Norwegian Wood, in which he perfected the poised tragic realism he had written in before - and in doing so become a superstar in his native japan. He then moved on to 'third-period' Murakami, where he managed to counterpoint the weirdness of his second period properly with the sense of poised realism he had developed earlier in his early novels and "Norwegian Wood". This balancing act produced to my mind his greatest novel, "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles" - I'd recommend that above anything else, so long as you don't mind diving in at the deep end.
But if it's weird romps and postmodern games with genre styles you're after, then I'd say this and 'A Wild Sheep Chase' are the two to look out for.


The Wind-up Bird Chronicle
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle
by Haruki Murakami
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Great Novels of the 20th Century?, 6 Aug 2001
This was the first Murakami novel I read, and it remains the best (above NW, Sputnik Sweetheart, or Underground). What this reminds me of more than anything is Twin Peaks.
A man is comfortable in his seemingly humdrum life until he starts to investigate the case of his wife's missing cat. As the layers start to peel back, he slowly discovers that the world is following the logic of a kind of Japanese dreamtime... and as he follows the signs and symbols of this madness, he is drawn to ANOTHER PLACE... the mysterious hotel, and the nightmare figure that stalks it.
A novel of shadows that bite you.


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