WEEKLY WONDER: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End Of The World, by Haruki Murakami(#42)

Hello, and welcome to the  Weekly Wonder! Here’s a book for your piling TBR.

This week’s Wonder is-

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Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End Of The World, by Haruki Murakami.

SO, WHAT’S UP WITH THE STORY?

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End Of The World is a book with two parallel narratives. All the odd chapters are set in Hard-Boiled Wonderland, which is a surrealist version of Tokyo. The even chapters are set in End Of The World, a strange village where no one is allowed to retain their shadow and no one is allowed to leave. In the hard-bolied wonderland, the narrator is a Calcutec, who processes large amounts of data for the System. He is employed by an eccentric old scientist, who makes him ‘shuffle’ data for him. Without really wanting to, he gets embroiled in a data war. In the End of The World, however, the narrator is a stranger to the village. His shadow has been confiscated and from him and is soon expected to perish.

Both stories, however, converge in a way one might not expect.


 

A GLIMPSE BETWEEN THE PAGES

“Open your eyes, train your ears, use your head. If a mind you have, then use it while you can.”

“You got to know your limits. Once is enough, but you got to learn. A little caution never hurt anyone. A good woodsman has only one scar on him. No more, no less.”

“Time is too conceptual. Not that it stops us from filling it in. So much so, we can’t even tell whether our experiences belong to time or to the world of physical things.”
“Life’s no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe’s my own to fool with.”
“I never trust people with no appetite. It’s like they’re always holding something back on you.”

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT IT

  • This is my first Murakami book. A lovely friend of mine recommended this particular one to me. It did not disappoint. The next Murakami book I’m reading is Kafka on the Shore. Let’s see if it holds up as well as this one did!
  • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End Of The World is a book for those readers who love a book of well-balanced genres. Detective fiction, Sci-fi, and fantasy all combine harmoniously in this book.
  • Murakami has a knack for describing things in a way one cannot help but admire. Notable examples:

                                                 “The best musicians transpose consciousness into sound; painters do the same for colour and shape.”  

                                                                                                                 “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.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           “The unwaking world was as hushed as a deep forest.”

  • The book also blends modern Japan with a hearty dose of American and Russian influences. Hard-Boiled Wonderland is riddled with references to Soviet authors and American pop culture.
  • The Vintage Books publication has some of the most beautiful covers ever seen. Simple, but aesthetically effective. Here’s a look at some of the other covers-

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I hope you like the book!

Also, if you would like us to review a particular book for you, we’d love to. Please tell us in the comments.

Happy Reading!

Pallavi.

 

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