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Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  73,580 Ratings  ·  4,200 Reviews
The contemporary and the mythic collide in this hard-boiled tale of computers and conspiracy theories, unicorns and ancient lands."
Audio CD, 11 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Naxos Audiobooks (first published 1985)
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Junyu To me the lack of names creates an interestingly/mysteriously/annoyingly 'dreamy' feeling. It could be that, because the big topic of the book is…moreTo me the lack of names creates an interestingly/mysteriously/annoyingly 'dreamy' feeling. It could be that, because the big topic of the book is 'Identity'. The confusion about identity led to the separate of shadow and body in the imagery world. The character was wondering between his more sophisticated and purer self and could not make a decision until the very end. Names as a symbol of identities might be too arbitrary and simple in this case.
Getting rid of names might also help to build the structure of the book since the fact that the two 'I' were the same person was kind of revealed late in the book.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Apr 30, 2007 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Murakami or fans of duality/dichotomy
This is your brain (an egg). This is your brain on Murakami (an egg sprouting arms and legs and attempting to hump other eggs while doing the Electric Slide and attempting to save the world to a killer soundtrack).

If you like Murakami, you'll like it, although it doesn't blend the two twisted sides of Murakami's writing as well as a book like "Norwegian Wood" or "Kafka on the Shore." In each of those novels, the reader gets transitions within chapters, and his talents for myth-telling in both t

Maybe you’ve heard it said before: in every joke there is a grain of truth. Well, as many of you may remember, I’ve been known to pick on Jay Rubin now and again for what I perceive to be his clunky translations of Murakami’s flawless prose. Because it couldn’t possibly be that Haruki is a clunky writer. Get that thought out of your head right now!! So I like to kid poor Jay and make him the scapegoat, but the more I think about it, the more validity I find in my little quips. You see, dear read
Feb 02, 2016 Florencia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japanese
And I couldn't be any other self but my self. Could I?

There is always a possibility.

In the summer of 1962, a poet wrote a song that would later become the last hymn to be heard as the end of the world approached. That is the song I chose to be my companion while writing another non-review; a song that is being followed closely by the mellifluous gusts of wind that break the silence of this monochromatic night.
Being my first Murakami, quite frankly, I didn't know what to expect. This is, witho
Whew, blew me away. The influences from Orwell and Kafka are clearly here. Existential meditations, amazingly imaginative, the multitude of interesting and important thoughts that can sprout from the reader's mind. The whole thing is pure genius.

"That's the way it is with the mind. Nothing is ever equal. Like a river, as it flows, the course changes with the terrain."

Typically, Murakami works his way through your subconscious, toying with recognitions of the past and future, in that magical stat
Kristin Myrtle
This is a complex novel, one that required two reads for me. It tells two stories in alternating chapters. In the first we meet a mild-mannered data processor, only all his "processing" is done inside his head. See... he can do this thing, or he had this thing done to him that allows him to access both hemispheres of his brain simultaneously yet separately. He gets recruited for some top-secret government project led by some mad scientist type, who lives holed up in a cave (under a waterfall) wi ...more
Feb 18, 2009 RandomAnthony rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murakami
The Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World gets my vote the most unique and frustrating book in the Murakami catalog. I got the feeling that there’s a little bit of the fan in Murakami in this text; his love of PK Dick, Vonnegut, etc. seems present, and I imagine passages of the book were great fun to write as a tribute, if you will, to his influences. However, the cold, metallic neurophysiology, whether accurate or not (I don’t know much about brain chemistry, so I can’t say one way or ...more
May 30, 2012 Matthias rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, my-reviews
In the unlikely event that Haruki Murakami's name on the cover is not in some way a quality label to you, guaranteeing profoundly outlandish scenarios and magic, he threw in the term "wonderland" to make sure everyone knew what to expect. Does the story deliver on all the promises this wonderful title embodies?


I decided to re-visit this book after having read it around 3 years ago (before my reviewing habit kicked in) because I remembered it being an instant favorite but didn't remember why
Stephen M
Right Brain

Upon the fields, yet of no snow,
frolic an acquiescence we yet to sow,
brilliant beasts, their golden fleece ready to unfurl,
trod this place, the end of the world.

Upon this fantasy, comes one of two
unnamed narrators who works in lieu
of status, volition; vagueness washes his mind,
all Kafkaesque, he becomes a dream-reading blind.

On a lost elevator in the counterpart plane
all events are concurrent and faintly the same;
the dyadic complement of the twin conscious
is a tech-savvy tokyoite obs
Jr Bacdayan
May 30, 2016 Jr Bacdayan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You’re taking a shower. Two streams fall onto you at the same time. One stream is cold and revitalizing while the other is hot and soothing. One’s heat fills the room with a foggy mist while the other clears your head driving it awake with its coldness. Each one supplements the other and the effect creates an experience more complete than had the two not been together. An icy torrent showing how crystal clear things are, and a scorching torrent enveloping things with a blanket of moisture, both ...more
Sep 09, 2007 Brooke rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, fantasy
I'd previously read two Haruki Murakami novels, A Wild Sheep Chase, and After Dark, his earliest and most recent that have been translated into English, respectively. After hearing about how he was one of Japan's most beloved authors, I was really underwhelmed by those two offerings. Sheep was almost too bizarre to really appreciate, and After Dark was short and enjoyable, but nothing special. After reading Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World, however, I suddenly Got It.

The title refe
K.D. Absolutely
Dec 16, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Dra. Ranee
Shelves: sci-fi, asian
This is an OK Murakami. My 8th and still counting. I will always admire his imagination, creativity and passion in writing. He will always be in my Top 10 Favorite Novelists list. But I am rating this as an OK book. Not my favorite Murakami. The reason? It just did not excite me.

Since I became an voracious reader and that happened partly because of Goodreads, I only religiously watch two shows: news (whichever I catch upon coming back home at night) and American Idol. Reading Hard-boiled Wonderl
Oct 11, 2011 Szplug rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Glass-eyed, marbled prison stare,
Functionless form that with will
Would coldly rend limb from limb.
Toothy gates, e'er sealed against
What would gnash and tear, strongly
Aflow with the crimson blood
Of a savaged savage god.

Dooby, dooby, do.

No exit, the maze.
The jazz, it plays.
Dress yes, no stays.
Eat meat, greens graze.

Tunnel-tied dust interludes abound.

Fat girl wrangled.
Grandpa mangled.
Outside dangled.
Inside strangled.

Such are the days when the spring winds down.
I’m sorry this one didn’t get on my radar sooner. It’s quintessential Murakami, blending genres in his signature weird and wonderful way—fantasy, sci fi, noir, fable, magical realism.

This novel from 1985 gives us a dystopia and a utopia for the price of one. In the former, our unnamed, thirty-something male protagonist works as a contracted Calcutec in Tokyo, a human encrypting device for the sanctioned espionage group, the System. Their main enemy in the “Infowar” are the Semiotecs, which serv
Aug 07, 2012 vivliovision rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

keep in touch:

"Some books are fast and some are slow, but no book can be understood if it is taken at the wrong speed"
Mark Van Doren [ ]

"Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World" is captivating novel comprised of two disparate narratives, which bleed into each other. The gradual convergence of these story-lines, although it does not exactly pull an attentive reader up short, does have some dramatic effect on the per
Dec 10, 2016 Forrest rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I cannot provide a more succinct and excellent summary of the plot of Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World than Michael has provided. Nor would I wish to try to describe the plot. It is classic Murakami, which means that several disparate elements are fused together in a surreal totality that somehow works. This may have more to do with the mind's attempt to fuse together disjointed pieces, filling in any logical gaps with its own concoctions, than the intention of the writer. Yes, Mu ...more
Andrew Smith
A hard one to sum up: it's futuristic and surreal with two separate threads that eventually come together to make a cohesive whole. It took me a while to get into it but I did eventually warm to the characters in both storylines (told in alternating chapters) and I found the ending skilfully crafted and satisfying. With Murakami you're not always sure where it’s all going, but the journey's always an interesting one.

If I were to liken it to anything I’ve read before it would be Man in the Dark,
Mar 02, 2014 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eh? What the hell was that?

My first thought upon finishing this, my first Murakami book. A few hours later it hit me like a delayed reaction that I just read something very cool. In retrospect Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is no weirder than something like PKD’s Ubik or China Miéville's The City and the City but it does have its own brand of weirdness and whimsy. The plot and narrative style of this book is like a combination of PKD’s reality bending shenanigan, Neil Gaiman’s w
João Carlos
Mar 12, 2013 João Carlos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: l2014, favorites, 2014best

Illustration by E. K. Harper

"O Impiedoso País das Maravilhas e o Fim do Mundo" é uma viagem fantástica a dois "mundos" e a duas narrativas que se desenvolvem em paralelo e em capítulos alternados, percorrendo cenários futuristas e fantasmagóricos, repletos de símbolos e simbologias.
Uma escrita perfeita, límpida e poética, inventiva e alucinante, com múltiplas referências à música, à literatura, à filosofia, à ciência, ao cinema e a tudo o que a imaginação ilimitada do Haruki Murakami
Jan 22, 2012 Kay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people willing to suspend reality
Recommended to Kay by: a white rabbit
Some people, myself included, just don't completely get Murakami. His storytelling style is in turns psychedelic and wildly unrestrained, but also carefully directed. It works for some people, and it falls miserably short for others.

There is so much contention on what Murakami's "best" and "worst" novels are. One person will claim one novel completely turned him off Murakami, while others will point to that same novel as what drew them to Murakami in the first place.

What I can really draw from
A story to remember. Murakami is a great storyteller. I thoroughly enjoyed his two parrallel narratives. He makes the unbelievable, believable. I don't even care that after finishing the novel, he leaves me with the feeling that I need to reread this book once (or twice) to fully understand and appreciate it.
Stephen P
Stepped at times past the wavering border of absurdity for me. Most of the time Murakami hangs onto just enough plausibility and his brew shines and goes down smooth. That old Murakami magic I wait for, that unexplained lucidity rising to the surface. But this time he barely missed. I rooted for him, out loud-Come on baby-you can do it-you're almost there-pull me into the story. When a writer like him barely misses a lot of pieces shatter on the floor and it becomes work for me to paste them tog ...more
Jan 24, 2012 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2013, japan
This book contains (view spoiler).

Feb 02, 2011 Tintin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Golden Beasts. Calcutecs. Dream-readers. Breached encryption systems. Consciousness. Sentient Shadows. Unconsciousness. Scientists. Libido. Infra-nocturnal Kappas. End of the World. Is this making sense yet?


No? That’s OK. I didn’t think so either. It’s guess it’s supposed to be bizarre and surreal. I have to give it to the man, though. Murakami is the only writer (so far) to hold my interest while simultaneously throwing me in the middle of a lab maze. I’ll c
Oct 04, 2014 Maryam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
مترجم در مقدمه کتاب می نویسد: داستان های موراکامی در عین اینکه بین واقعیت و ناواقعیت می لغزد، مرزهای سیال بین این دو را گسترش می دهد. از غم و اندوه و فقدان و گم گشتگی در هیاهوی دنیای مدرن حرف می زند و در جست و جوی موقعیت و هویت و مقام خود و انسان در وضع حاضر است. در این دنیای پرآشوب و سرشار از فجایع و شناعت، انسانیت وآزادی ورهایی را می جوید و ماهرانه بین خیال و واقعیت بندبازی می کند و سالم به زمین می رسد

قسمتی از کتاب
کف زمین خاکی است و رطوبت اتاق توام با سرماست. سایه ام بی حرکت تو تختخواب خوابیده
Jennifer (aka EM)
Apr 18, 2010 Jennifer (aka EM) rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jennifer (aka EM) by: Ben
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 28, 2011 Nuno rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm speechless, and I can bet professor didn't cut my sound off, but that's a whole other story, except that it actually isn't.

This is Murakami at his best. I've now read the majority of his major works, being this, doubtlessly, his foremost. Well, I won't lie, saying that I didn't roll my eyes out of exasperation and annoyance whilst reading the first chapters with all of these particularly unfamiliar characters. The basic thoughts of 'oh-my-god-not-this-I'm-a-middle-aged-guy-caught-in-the-midd
I have a long history with Murakami. I first read him about eleven years ago. I read The Elephant Vanishes, and loved it. Then I read a couple more. I don't remember the order: Dance Dance Dance, A Wild Sheep Chase, South of the Border West of the Sun, maybe a couple more. I loved them all. Then I tried Wind-Up Bird Chronicles and I just hit a wall. I had finally overdosed on Murakami. I couldn't get into it no matter how I tried, even though I didn't see anything objectively wrong with the book ...more
Apr 03, 2013 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some vases, some situations, some emptiness, some longing, some fulfillment, some musings, some randomness, some music, some sex, some eating, some reading, some sleeping, some driving, some climbing, some INKlings, some organizations, some Turgenev, some Dylan, some water, some snow, some pink, some cassettes, some underthings, some deviance, some sincerity, some e.d.

All these ingredients, all the praise, I may've put too much weight on Murakami's shoulders. M is a big fan of Raymond Carver, on
Ahmad Sharabiani
Sekai no owari to hādoboirudo wandārando=Hard-boiled wonderland and the end of the world, Haruki Murakami
عنوان: سرزمین عجایب بیرحم و ته دنیا؛ نویسنده: هاروکی موراکامی؛ مترجم: مهدی غبرایی؛ مشهد، نیکونشر، 1390، در 512 ص؛ شابک: 9789647253536؛ یادداشت: این نسخه از متن انگلیسی برگردان شده؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ژاپنی قرن 20 م؛
فصلهای فرد کتاب در « سرزمین عجایب بیرحم » میگذرند، راوی این سرزمین عجایب بیرحم جوانی ست که از ضمیر ناخودآگاه خویش برای رمزنگاری استفاده میکند، او برای یک سازمان شبه دولتی
Dec 26, 2012 Cher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars - It was great. I loved it.

Two parallel stories, each with its own narrator and cast of nameless characters: "Hard-Boiled Wonderland" which was mainly sci-fi based, and "The End of the World" which was primarily fantasy based. Both stories are terrifically strange and weird.

Murakami has a unique style of telling a convoluted story in a simple way, a paradox in and of itself, which is fitting given that the novel has a steady stream of paradoxical themes. Reality vs Fantasy, Dystopia vs
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Haruki Murakami (Japanese: 村上 春樹) is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. His work has been described as 'easily accessible, yet profoundly complex'. He can be located on Facebook at:

Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. He grew up reading a range of works by Am
More about Haruki Murakami...

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