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on 4 September 2015
As a huge Murakami fan, I'm disposed to think of him as a genius who can do no wrong. Initially, this novel left me fazed, not knowing what was happening and what I should think about it. Certainly, it is confusing - no names, no background, just strange happenings. Hm.

I persevered. 'Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World' unfolds and repays the reader for their perseverence. We have a dual narrative, short chapters that propel the reader forward and keep one guessing and speculating. The usual personality quirks of the male character are on show, love of jazz and 60s music, food, intriguing and intelligent women, ennui and lack of direction.

Though not of the first rank of Murakami's writing, the gathering pace and grasp of plot, of a narrative on today's society, are compelling. I'm convinced that fans will enjoy this novel, but please do persevere. It's worth it
3 people found this helpful
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on 25 November 2014
I was a little uncertain about this one and left it a couple of months before writing a review. Murakami's prose is always fluent and readable, regardless of the translator. If you're not already a fan however, I wouldn't recommend this book as an entry point.

As you've probably read elsewhere there are 2 narratives here side-by-side. One is the story of a data analyst in what is either an alternate or near-future Japan that starts out quite grounded and becomes more fantastic as it progresses, the other starts off as a fantasy story and follows the reverse trend of becoming more "realistic" as the hero learns more about his surroundings.

There are some brilliant concepts at work in both strands, from the "real" history of unicorns, to people detaching and living separately from their own shadows, HBW&TEOTW is never boring. It is a bit frustrating though, the central device that eventually links the two stories felt a bit shabby to me and I didn't really buy into it. One character, a supposedly genius professor, is afflicted all the way through with a bizarre redneck accent for reasons that both escaped and irritated me. Promising ideas gestate and are then quickly abandoned (the INKlings?) and this novel quite possibly has more descriptions of the preparation and consumption of food than any other by the author (and that's saying something).

Bit of a mixed bag then for me, there's certainly plenty to enjoy in Murakami's diversions and philosophical musings and many pleasingly odd set-pieces, I think it's far from the author's best work, but others may disagree!
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on 1 March 2017
Another quality Murakami novel.My first "quirky" story.My first book was Norwegian Wood which is a normal story.This i book i enjoyed a lot.2 stories in one, wont say anything,dont want to give away.
Again Murakami lovers will really like this, if your new, have an open mind and you will enjoy.
i will read this again when ive finished all 13 of his novels!!
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on 2 May 2018
Very good, but I love Murakami so I'm going to rate almost anything he does highly.

I will that I prefer The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle over all, and that this novel had some slow parts which I didn't always enjoy. But overall it's a great story with some neat twists.
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on 24 November 2017
Such an interesting read, it takes a while to get into the story but once you do there is no putting it down.....until the end
One person found this helpful
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on 4 September 2011
As always, Murakami makes you think while keeping you in a dream-like state. I'm not going to try and give a big review here - I just wanted to agree with the vast majority how excellent are ALL his books, and also express my surprise at the reviewer Crow giving it one star! I think specimen 'Crow' needs to keep to more simple, less-thoughtful and deep books - maybe Andy McNab and Chris Ryan novels would be more to his/her taste!! But to give Murakami one star says much, much more about the reader than the author. Those who can think will certainly enjoy any one of Murakami's novels...
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on 30 January 2018
A beautifully surreal book. I struggled to get into it at first, but I'm glad I stuck with it. It's a great intro into the world of Murakami.
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on 19 November 2016
Quite an interesting book. I was expecting more of a Japanese feel in the writing experiences but Murakami is very westernised in his references. However his style is very unique, so I'll be reading more from him.
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on 5 April 2017
Out there like other Haruki Murakami I have read but hugely enjoyable
One person found this helpful
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on 2 July 2017
I bit too long and stretched out.
One person found this helpful
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