Hard-Boiled Wonderland

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World was not my favorite Murakami, but that just means I was less swept away than usual. (After Wind-Up Bird Chronicle the bar is high.) He is incomparable and it was a remarkable read. As with all the other books of his that I have read, in this Murakami is bizarre and surreal with a strait-faced and honest tone. For me, he is so low-key at times that the momentum of the story lags. I read most of this book a while ago, put it down, and months later got back to the last thirty pages. But I loved the ending, and I love the quiet solitude of his main character. And I continue to love the way Murakami can write an outrageous and unbelievable story (glowing unicorn skulls) and make it have the character and quiet dignity of a man eating a sandwich alone in his kitchen.

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