TITLE: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
AUTHOR: Haruki Murakami
PUBLISHED: 1985 (Japan); 1991 (USA)
Quote: “There had to be something wrong with my life. I should have been born a Yugoslavian shepherd who looked up at the Big Dipper every night.”
Overview: Two parallel universes: a slightly futiristic Tokyo (hard-boiled wonderland) and the self-sufficient Town where minds go to waste (the end of the world). How are they related? Worlds collide, reality and subconscious become one and the same, and the divide between perception and truth is bridged. The plot alternates each chapter between the two worlds and the reader becomes aware of the relationship and interconnectedness of the hard-boiled wonderland and the end of the world. This book provides the reader with a deep dive into science fiction, magical realism, mystery and love.
Analysis: This was my first Murakami read and it lived up to all expectations. The characters, parallel universes and story line keep the reader engaged from page one until the end. If you are a fan of mystery, science fiction or any kind of magical realism this book is right up your alley. The flawed characters are extremely relatable and even lovable at times as innocence mixes with burnt out experience. The challenges facing the main character seemed realistic even in Murakami’s made up world. Reading Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World makes me want to read other Murakami books. This was one of my favorite reads in a long while.
Conclusion: This one can be enjoyed by pretty much anyone, and should be, so get it.