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This review is from: Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World (Paperback)
Having read, and enjoyed The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Murakami, I was expecting something equally as good from this book, but I was rather disappointed.
Simply put, the book feels forced and pretentious. Not necessarily the storyline, but the flow of ideas. It feels as if Murakami has found an idea he wants to put across, then works backwards, constructing a story that leads to this final idea of accepting the end of the world. However, this story is like a cut-and-paste. Characters come in, concepts are thought up, and places made just to channel the character towards the final end. It's almost as if most of the pieces of the story have been put in place just because the writer CAN put them in. The pages are cluttered with unnecessary detours, leeches, climbing ladders and "information wars".
All this detracted from the book. Much like the unnecessary detour in The Wind-up Bird Chronicle where Manchuria is mentioned. That felt like it was put in just to make the book controversial in Japan. With Hard-Boiled Wonderland, it feels like the whole book was an unnecessary detour from the meaning, which was itself clearly evident at the end of the book, but came about with such lack of subtlety that any impact was lost.
In this book Murakami is about as subtle as a hammer. It's almost painful to read the way he tries to force the two worlds to come into some sort of contact with one another (i.e. through skulls) throughout the book. It's a shame really because I had high hopes for this book, but it may have tarnished my view of Murakami.
This book needs a May Kasahara.