Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami  » Books  »
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  • Fans of Haruki Murakami's brand of literary excellence may be disappointed in Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
  • Although there is much to recommend the story at the onset, lack of interesting development as well as countless pages devoted to the “technical” details of this imaginary world make this book somewhat of a dud


    • by agoobacha
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      Fans of Haruki Murakami’s brand of literary excellence may be disappointed in Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Although there is much to recommend the story at the onset, lack of interesting development as well as countless pages devoted to the “technical” details of this imaginary world make this book somewhat of a dud.

      The premise seems enticing enough, there are two stories which run parallel but the connection of which is not immediately discerned. One is the story of a Tokyo man who earns his living through some kind of information technology, although it is unclear exactly what his work entails. He becomes an unwilling bargaining chip of an information war and spends most of his time attempting


      to escape the warring factions and simply find some peace. The other story is quite different and takes place in the exact opposite of Tokyo, a land that exists in complete and utter peace, silent and impervious. Within it unfolds the story of another man, new to this land of perfection and still adjusting to its rules and regulations. As he begins to realize that peace has a price he must decide whether or not he is willing to pay it. Both men, racing against their respective clocks, must figure out exactly where they fit in within their worlds and what it is they are truly looking for. The stories share certain common points that bring the two worlds so close ...

      • that they become almost two sides of the same coin and yet their mystery builds steadily, and not much of an explanation is ever offered.

        Although the inconclusive ending is something that Murakami has perfected over the course of his illustrious career, this is not simply an abrupt conclusion, it is almost as if the story falls asleep on itself, closing on an entirely uninteresting lull that does not even merit much questioning or pondering. Over the course of the novel the basic gist is gathered and the rest is simply reiteration of the same. As the pages keep on turning there remains some hope that some new kernel of information will be discovered, some slight change in the pacing, yet

        there is no such luck and, after some sputtering, this engine just dies. Even the characters are entirely predictable and quickly become uninteresting. Their words begin to sound like a broken record. It is as if Murakami has decided upon one main idea and hopes to drive it home by rephrasing it in endless variations.

        In true Murakami fashion there are interesting allusions, numerous layers of symbolism, and attractive imagery, however even these are not enough to save this drowning boat of a novel. Those unfamiliar with his work will not be doing this usually stellar author justice by reading this book first, instead I would suggest the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle or Kafka on the Shore, both of which exemplify his highly-tuned craft.




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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in December, 2010. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1722121365830931/k2311a1222/12.22.10
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