Summary

Information is everything in "Hard-Boiled Wonderland". A specialist encrypter is attacked by thugs with orders from an unknown source, is chased by invisible predators, and dates an insatiably hungry librarian who never puts on weight. In "The End of the World" a new arrival is learning his role as dream-reader. But there is something eerily disquieting about the changeless nature of the town and its fable-like inhabitants. Told in alternate chapters, the two stories converge and combine to create a novel that is surreal, beautiful, thrilling, and extraordinary.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2010 Naxos AudioBooks (P)2010 Naxos AudioBooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Anthony on 26-05-11

surreal

Well this is my 3rd Murakami from audible and I just love them. The story revolves around one main character whose whole existence becomes embroiled through dreams, fantasy and perhaps even reality at times with the "chubby girl" in pink, the General, the librarian and the Professor. All of whom seem to be forcing him towards his unknown destiny, when along the way he faces the terror of the inklings, the unicorns and other motley strange beasts. The story is strangely surreal but possesses such skill in the telling that every twist and turn is followed with great anticipation to the next junction in the road. It cannot be classed as exciting, however, once started the story carries you along in such a fascinating and imaginative way that it is impossible to put down.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Sung on 28-01-15

Another great Haruki Murakami book

I've always loved his books so I was very excited to pick this one up at audible. And of course he never disappoints.. I loved how the whole story comes together towards the end of the book.. A thoroughly enjoyable read!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Ryan on 07-03-12

Grown-up Hiyao Miyazaki

I really enjoyed this book, though, as you can tell from other reviews online, it's not a novel for every taste. Let me put it this way: if you like the films of Hiyao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke), and relish a few dashes of metaphysics, literary/movie/music references, and existentialism, then Murakami's mix of fantasy, surreality, and realism might speak to you. If not, you'll probably be frustrated with the listening/reading experience. (If you don't know Hiyao Miyazaki, then get ye to Netflix first, then come back here.)

On the surface, the book has two intertwining stories. One is about a 30-something loner guy with slacker tendencies and cyberpunkish skills who lives in Tokyo and takes a job with an eccentric scientist, a choice which soon sets off a cascade of strange consequences. This is interleaved with a second story, in which a man with no memory finds himself trapped in a fantastical, dreamlike town, trying to make sense of its fable-like inhabitants and his reasons for being there. As the novel progresses, the two stories begin to intersect. While "magic realism" is a genre that can really fly off the rails sometimes (see Mark Helprin's A Winter's Tale), Murakami keeps his story readable and grounded in a coherent flow of events.

This is one of those books where (in my opinion), you'll enjoy it more if you don't expect the author’s stew of ideas and imagery to make perfect sense or try to analyze his science and philosophy too much. Yes, there are a few logic holes and not everything in the surface-level plot gets resolved in an obvious way. Rather, this is a novel to read for its oddball characters, the vision of the writing, the strange-but-fitting twists and turns of the story, the humorous juxtaposition of the surreal and the everyday, and the existential questions under its fanciful trappings. If you had only 36 hours to live, what would you do with the time? I found the way Murakami chose to answer this question unexpectedly moving. Even with the end of the world coming, you might still have to do laundry...

I enjoyed the narration and voice-acting in the audiobook. The main character's voice reminded me of Spike from Cowboy Bebop, which (in my world) was a bonus.

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29 of 31 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Joe Kraus on 26-03-13

Still Haunting Me

Would you consider the audio edition of Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World to be better than the print version?

This was my first Murakami, and I've since read Kafka on the Shore. I enjoyed both, but this is the one that's lingered more in my imagination. I enjoyed listening to it, but it's been the 'aftertaste,' the lingering effect of its mystery, that I've especially enjoyed. I don't know whether I'll literally re-read it, but I've certainly done so already in my daydreams.

What about Adam Sims and Ian Porter ’s performance did you like?

The back and forth is striking. It's a feature I wasn't used to in an audiobook. I don't know how well others would pull it off, but they complement each other very well.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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