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Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Book rating: 04 Paperback Vintage Books

By (author) Haruki Murakami

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 30mm | 299g
  • Publication date: 1 February 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099448785
  • ISBN 13: 9780099448785
  • Sales rank: 1,577

Product description

A narrative particle-accelerator that zooms between Wild Turkey Whiskey and Bob Dylan, unicorn skulls and voracious librarians, John Coltrane and Lord Jim. Science fiction, detective story and post-modern manifesto all rolled into one rip-roaring novel, Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is the tour de force that expanded Haruki Murakami's international following. Tracking one man's descent into the Kafkaesque underworld of contemporary Tokyo, Murakami unites East and West, tragedy and farce, compassion and detachment, slang and philosophy. The result is a wildly inventive fantasy and a meditation on the many uses of the mind.

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Author information

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. He is the author of many novels as well as short stories and non-fiction. His works include Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, After Dark and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. His work has been translated into more than forty languages, and the most recent of his many international honours is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J.M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V.S. Naipaul.

Customer reviews

By Sara 27 Aug 2014 5

This is by far one of the best books I've read. Not just by Murakami, but in general.
It follows two narrations and what seems to be two protagonists. The stories do not intertwine that often, if at all. At some points you can see the connections but Murakami keeps the world separate all until the last 100 ish pages where you finally start to put two and two together and you realize just how closely interconnected they are.
What I especially loved about this book was the Calcutec's narration which is so easily flowing, simple and yet at the same time complex and smooth. As we have grown used to, he too is a character detached from the society (just like a lot of Murakami's characters are) but this does not make him any less unique.
The second narration is slightly different and the whole idea behind it gives you the chills. Somehow, there is always a feeling of unease when you read about the life in the Town, once you delve deeper into what it could be like. If you imagine yourself in such a world... At least for me, there was this odd feeling and somehow I was even glad that Murakami's writing was able to cause that within me.
Overall, the book is definitely worth reading and I am sure that if you choose to do so, you will enjoy every page of it.
I gladly give it 5/5.

By Angela Cortes 05 Sep 2010 4

This book as others of Murakami, has this sequence of 2 stories interspersed, one of that is about a guy who is a Calcutec, and start a work with a "Professor" and the other one is a guy who go to a fortified city and has to resign to his shadow... it's very creative and with many symbolism.

Review quote

"His fantasies, with their easy reference to western pulp fiction and music, retain a beauty of the mind" Guardian "A remarkable writer...he captures the common ache of contemporary heart and head" -- Jay McInerney "Combines a witty sci-fi pastiche and a dream-like Utopian fantasy in two separate narratives which alternate in an interweave of precognition and deja vu" -- Richard Lloyd Parry Independent "Here is abundant imagination at play" Sunday Times "Murakami's bold willingness to go straight-over-the-top has always been a signal indication of his genius...a powerful melange of disillusioned radicalism, keen intelligence, wicked sarcasm and a general allegiance to the surreal. If Murakami is the "voice of a generation," as he is often proclaimed in Japan, then it is the generation of Thomas Pynchon and Don De Lillo" Washington Post

Editorial reviews

Here is abundant imagination at play

Back cover copy

A narrative particle accelerator that zooms between Wild Turkey Whiskey and Bob Dylan, unicorn skulls and voracious librarians, John Coltrane and Lord Jim. Science fiction, detective story and post-modern manifesto all rolled into one rip-roaring novel, Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is the tour de force that expanded Haruki Murakami's international following. Tracking one man's descent into the Kafkaesque underworld of contemporary Tokyo, Murakami unites East and West, tragedy and farce, compassion and detachment, slang and philosophy. 'His fantasies, with their easy reference to western pulp fiction and music, retain a beauty of the mind' Guardian 'A remarkable writer...he captures the common ache of the contemporary heart and head' Jay McInerney 'Combines a witty sci-fi pastiche and a dream-like Utopian fantasy in two separate narratives which alternate in an interweave of precognition and deja-vu' Richard Lloyd Parry, Independent 'Here is abundant imagination at play' Sunday Times