Wednesday, October 12, 2011

ARCHIVED REVIEW: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World (7/2/10)

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
by Haruki Murakami

This was a really intriguing book! The main character (no one has names) is a Calcutec, an information specialist who uses his own brain for data processing. He is called in by a client to do some data shuffling and his humdrum life is turned upside down as he finds himself the owner of a unicorn skull, and racing through tunnels underground behind a girl in pink. There is a secondary, dreamlike world, almost a muffled, grey dystopia where the same main character has entered a Town, and he can't leave without giving up his shadow.

The most interesting part of reading this book is catching the repeating parallel motifs of the world of reality and the world of the subconscious. Each time you think you've figured out how the dreaming world works, a new piece of information is revealed that adds an extra level of mystery. The mystery is the fun. There are a few annoying moments where the author makes the character sit down with someone who answers all of his questions point blank, but you realize they are necessary to move the plot forward.

I also enjoy the moments that he captures almost like a still life. When the main character realizes his fate, he looks at the world differently, and sucks in every moment with vivid detail, even such things as going to the laundromat, staring at screws, or listening to just the right music.

I also really loved the character of the Librarian, for obvious reasons.

A really fascinating book, though I'm not sure I'd read it again. I kinda want there to be a sequel though.

If you liked this book, you may like:
The Dream of Perpetual Motion by Dexter Palmer
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agencey

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