peteg's blog - noise - books - 2013 07 24 Murakami HardBoiledWonderlandAndTheEndOfTheWorld

Haruki Murakami: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

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Less gripping than Kafka on the Shore, with long stretches of banality that even the author/main character acknowledge, especially as the novel winds down. I guess I missed the fantastic on this journey into inner space. It was written roughly contemporaneously with classic cyberpunk; I think Neuromancer is better written, and Bladerunner has better cinematography. Again there is a preoccupation with borderline underagers.

I found the information transformations performed by the narrator to be implausibly weird. Murakami comprehends the notion of a key but fails to realise that with that comes the possibility of anything (you trust) doing the computation; there is no need for a human agent in that loop. The conflict between the System and the Factory is ill-drawn and unresolved; Junior and Tiny are unmotivated and apparently not as fearsome as the narrator thought them to be. I pushed on to the end in vain hope of a final twist.