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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 2003)

by Haruki Murakami

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,324165691 (4.13)1 / 305
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)
Member:Zuzika
Title:Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Authors:Haruki Murakami
Info:Vintage, Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

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

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» See also 305 mentions

English (149)  French (7)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (3)  German (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (165)
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
Deep rivers run quiet. ( )
  SolangePark | Jul 12, 2020 |
Rereading Hard-boiled Wonderland, as part of this year's (2020) goal of rereading books in my collection, I found myself wanting more out of a story that really captured my imagination the first time around. I appreciated the mystery, however, the journey, particularly in the "hard-boiled wonderland" felt two-dimensional and the characters were weird and unlikeable. Therefore the choice at the end of the novel didn't feel powerful as much as incidental, which left me annoyed at the whole experience where the first time I felt thrilled.
  b.masonjudy | May 24, 2020 |
I came to Hard-Boild after reading: 1Q84, Wind Up Bird Chronicles and Kafka at the Shore.

This book is truly out there -- our hero wanders into a scene that is as absurd and silly as a comic book, and some of the wacky science is a little too much. But it's all just the vehicle for expressing a truly thoughtful and unexpected view of ones consciousness, and what has meaning, or even perhaps what -is- meaning. It has been a while since I read Sartre, Kafka, Camus and others but it recall thinking each had a surreal vision of daily reality -- characters were just foils for their ideas. This is similar in some ways.

Murakami, so far has impressed me with his ability to bring wit, humor, immediacy and his own personality and loves into his writing. This makes it approachable, fun, and a little less self-important than these other great authors. This book is not one I would recommend if you're interested in starting with Murakami -- Kafka at the Shore or 1Q84 both fit that bill well. But if you are a fan, and properly prepared for the bizarre, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is a stunning and beautiful work of literature. ( )
  modioperandi | May 12, 2020 |
I adored this book, the first of Murakami's I've read. It was full of wholly unexpected twists, absurd humor, and palpable wistfulness and longing. Creating a cohesive book out of two different stories, particularly when the halves each have a radically different style and tone, is not an easy trick to pull off, but it was handled impressively well here, and when the connection between the plots was eventually revealed it felt natural. I occasionally had a bit of difficulty following what exactly was going on when there was a bunch of stuff being explained at once, but that's perhaps attributable to the fact that I was reading while laid up in bed with intense stomach pain and thus not at my sharpest mentally. ( )
  selfcallednowhere | Jan 8, 2020 |
My 3rd Haruki Murakami book.
Cant say its my favourite (that would still be Kafka on the shore) but wow what a read.
2 parallel stories, of which one was sometimes a struggle.

The way Murakami manages to unfold the connection between the two at the end is amazing.
The reason why I favor Kafka on the Shore is that the whole Calcutec/Semiotec storyline was a bit too much sometimes. Mainly the way he delved into how the brain and consciousness works. But I guess this was a perfect build up for the End of the World parts.
I still do not understand why one of the characters (the granddaughter of the Professor) was given such prominence in the story. Have to find out why.

But overall an impressive read.



( )
  mariquon | Jan 7, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 149 (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 (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Birnbaum, AlfredTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Camp, Marion Op denTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gall, JohnCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ortmanns, AnnelieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porta, LourdesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stalph, JürgenTranslatorsecondary 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
...I walked right into her backside. It was wonderfully cushioning, like a firm rain cloud.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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
Birds fly overhead
Golden beasts graze in the town
INKlings worship... fish?

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