Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

A Novel

Book - 1993
Average Rating:
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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.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1993
Edition: 1st Vintage international ed
ISBN: 9780679743460
0679743464
Branch Call Number: MURAKAMI H
PL856.U673 S4513 1993
Characteristics: 400 p. : ill., map ; 21 cm

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oliviapham
Aug 16, 2016

My favorite Murakami so far (generally not the biggest fan, although I've tried several of his books.) Took me forever to get through, but this story was so fun and imaginative!

f
Filthy_Doves
Apr 26, 2016

Enjoyed it for the most part, left me thinking at times about how the mind and imagination worked. A little hard to comprehend at times but still a good read.

s
samzagula
Aug 31, 2014

Is the elimination of the problems of life worth the loss of the mind? Is an eternity of Boredom better then nothingness? These intriguing questions Haruki Murakami dives into in is novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World.

The novel takes place in 2 separate worlds. One world is futuristic cyberpunk-esk yet slightly mystical, containing information theft, Kappa, and other-worldley science. The second world is a mythical world, containing unicorns, Dream-readers, and shadows that die. Each chapter switches between each world.

This a good book for you if you are a fan of cyber punk, magical realism, human behavior, and questions of the afterlife, but this book is not the easiest to read. The Author spends much of the book focusing on detail, and towards the end, on the way the characters spend their life. Instead of continuously working towards a problem, solution, and ending, the Author explores the lives of the characters in intense details and creates a more realistic story, from the perspective of human nature, then readers seeking action packed novels may be accustomed to, or even enjoy.

GeoffAbel Nov 12, 2013

This is the first book of HM's that I've read and was supremely disappointed given his reputation. Starts off boring becomes interesting and then becomes boring again. Nice wordcraft though...

2
21168035271733DDV
Oct 13, 2013

Quite an enjoyable novel that has nothing to do with Buddhist metaphysics (see snarski), but rather with the workings of the brain and imagination. It combines the surreal with aspects of cyberpunk. What snarski got wrong was that this world was a subconscious invention of the main character that in some way related to his gift for "shuffling" information. It was completely his own world within himself, not the Buddhist nirvana (which, in any case, is nothingness, not an alternative world, no matter how sedate).

s
snarski
Apr 21, 2013

Cheesy, metaphysical pulp fiction. If you could preview nirvana to see if an eternity of no suffering was your kind of thing, would you leave your self at the gate and stay? The story imagines Buddhism's ultimate metaphysical state as a mythical kingdom surrounded by unicorns. Meanwhile, the narrator's conscious world is caught up in a caper of cyberthugs, mad scientists and subterrainian monsters (it's Tokyo . . . you gotta have monsters.) A fun read.

a
annethornley
Apr 16, 2013

I thought the characters were like cardboard cut-outs. I persevered for half the book but that enough.

mrzipan22 Nov 05, 2011

My favorite Murakami novel, thus far. I like him best when he describes a territory that is a map of some part of the mind that we are on the verge of being conscious of, yet remains mostly hidden like an iceberg.

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angrytoast
Mar 09, 2011

angrytoast thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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