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Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the…
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Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (original 1985; edition 2001)

by Haruki Murakami

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6,634125568 (4.14)240
Member:LornaR
Title:Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Authors:Haruki Murakami
Info:Vintage (2001), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, mystery, Japan

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Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami (1985)

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» See also 240 mentions

English (113)  French (4)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  German (1)  All languages (124)
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
This was the first Murakami book I read and it's still my favorite. It's atmospheric and bizarre in the best ways. It's a fun, quick read but it will stick with you for a long time afterwards. This is one of those books that changed the way I saw the world around me in the weeks after I'd finished. The only problem with starting with this one is I've yet to read another Murakami book that I like quite as much. ( )
  cattylj | Feb 28, 2015 |
This is probably the best book I've ever read. It has layers upon layers that can be woven together, unraveled, and examined. The two stories fit together nearly perfectly - and the curious, apparent inconsistencies are fruitful to contemplate. The questions it raises about the nature of the self, the mind, consciousness, and identity are fascinating yet never resolved (which might be frustrating if it weren't for the fact that there are no pat answers to such questions even for those of us who spend years studying them). Finally, it combines my three favorite genres - fantasy, science fiction, and detective mysteries. I'll have to read it a second time before I can write a real review. ( )
1 vote brleach | Jan 26, 2015 |
As with all the Murakami novels I have read,Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World has the author twisting reality to get the reader thinking about real issues. Along the way he entertains with diverting philosophy, interesting meals and an eclectic music selection. ( )
  pgmcc | Dec 27, 2014 |
My favorite Murakami novel. Poetic and hallucinogenic at the same time, the protagonist whose job is being a 'dreamreader' carries data locked in his head, but, unlike William Gibson's cyberpunk novel Johnny Mnemonic, the secrets are accessible, encoded in a subconscious dream-world, 'the town', with stolen shadows and mystical beasts. The novel alternates chapters of this enigmatic and ominous subconscious world with the bizarre techno espionage thriller of the conscious world. Strange and beautiful. ( )
  jkwouden | Sep 15, 2014 |
This was interesting but ultimately confusing and unsatisfying for me.

The story is set in Japan but as far as I can tell the year is never specified. My guess is right around the current year (2014) but there weren't any references to current events that dated it.

What was strange to me was all the references to Americana. I never understood if the main character was American or Japanese or something else. To add to that I was listening to this on audio and the voices sounded very American English. So the old man scientist sounded like someone from Georgia or Alabama.

I heard that a lot of hipsters are into Murakami so I'm not sure if that influenced me but the novel did feel rather pretentious. The Bob Dylan and Tolstoy references felt a little forced.

I found the adventures in the "end of the world" pretty boring, though I was obviously curious about how things worked and why they worked that way, but it didn't do a lot for me.

So in the end it didn't really work as a metaphor or an adventure for me. It didn't touch me with life insights and it didn't dazzle me with beautiful passages. Probably my last Murakami.

----------------SPOILER----------
As a lover of big women I was also really disappointed that he expressed an interest in the chubby girl but then never "got with" her. Instead the skinny girl showed up and he completely forgot any attraction he had to the big girl. It seemed to play out the unfairness that plays out everyday for big girls (unless I'm the main character). ( )
  ragwaine | Aug 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
He has become the foremost representatives of a new style of Japanese writing: hip, cynical and highly stylized, set at the juncture of cyberpunk, postmodernism, and hard-boiled detective fiction.... Murakami [is] adept at deadpan wit, outrageous style.
added by GYKM | editLos Angeles Times Magazine
 
Murakami's bold willingness to go straight over the top [is] a signal indication of his genius... a world-class writer who has both eyes open and takes big risks.
added by GYKM | editWashington Post Book World
 

» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Birnbaum, AlfredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Camp, Marion Op denTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ortmanns, AnnelieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winter, Maxim deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Why does the sun go on shining?
Why do the birds go on singing?
Don't they know it's the end of the world?

The End of the World (Sylvia Dee/Arthur Kent)
Dedication
First words
The elevator continued its impossibly slow ascent.
Elevatoren var på vej op i ekstremt langosmt tempo. Eller det forestillede jeg mig i det mindste. Jeg var ikke sikker. Det gik så langsomt, at jeg havde mistet orienteringen. Det kunne lige så godt være, at den var på vej ned, eller at den slet ikke bevægede sig.
Quotations
But on the phenomenological level, this world is only one out of countless possibillities. As you create memories, you're creatin' a parallel world
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Publisher series
Information from the Catalan Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
From Library Journal
The last surviving victim of an experiment that implanted the subjects' heads with electrodes that decipher coded messages is the unnamed narrator of this excellent book by Murakami, one of Japan's best-selling novelists and winner of the prestigious Tanizaki prize. Half the chapters are set in Tokyo, where the narrator negotiates underground worlds populated by INKlings, dodges opponents of both sides of a raging high-tech infowar, and engages in an affair with a beautiful librarian with a gargantuan appetite. In alternating chapters he tries to reunite with his mind and his shadow, from which he has been severed by the grim, dark "replacement" consciousness implanted in him by a dotty neurophysiologist. Both worlds share the unearthly theme of unicorn skulls that moan and glow. Murakami's fast-paced style, full of hip internationalism, slangy allegory, and intrigue, has been adroitly translated. Murakami is also author of A Wild Sheep Chase ( LJ 10/15/89); his new work is recommended for academic libraries and public libraries emphasizing serious contemporary fiction.
- D.E. Perushek, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679743464, Paperback)

Japan's most widely-read and controversial writer, author of A Wild Sheep Chase, hurtles into the consciousness of the West with this narrative about a split-brained data processor, a deranged scientist, his shockingly undemure granddaughter, and various thugs, librarians, and subterranean monsters--not to mention Bob Dylan and Lauren Bacall.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:33 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The last surviving victim of an experiment that implanted the subjects' heads with electrodes that decipher coded messages is the unnamed narrator. Half the chapters are set in Tokyo, where the narrator negotiates underground worlds populated by INKlings, dodges opponents of both sides of a raging high-tech infowar, and engages in an affair with a beautiful librarian with a gargantuan appetite. In alternating chapters he tries to reunite with his mind and his shadow, from which he has been severed by the grim, dark "replacement" consciousness implanted in him by a dotty neurophysiologist. Both worlds share the unearthly theme of unicorn skulls that moan and glow.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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