This was the first Murakami I read and still one of my favorites. It is lighter emotionally than most of his other works and very story driven. But li...moreThis was the first Murakami I read and still one of my favorites. It is lighter emotionally than most of his other works and very story driven. But like all his works leaves plenty of room for your own related introspection.
I've heard others say to read The Wind-up Bird Chornicles or Norwegian Wood first if you are new to Murakami. I'd say if you have read many odd, meandering, reflective tales sure go for Wind-up Bird or if you really like stories that make you cry on the bus, Norwegian Wood is your book (It is fantastic) but if either of those aren't you, start here, with the End of the World.(less)
This really is an phenomenal book. Philosophy, political intrigue, and action melded into one with interesting characters and a good plot. Definitely...moreThis really is an phenomenal book. Philosophy, political intrigue, and action melded into one with interesting characters and a good plot. Definitely sceince fiction, for those with extreme aversions there, but I would recommend it to any and all others.
Since I've read 1-6 in the series now...
As for reading the series, I've seen a lot of mixed reviews out there, even when discussing each individual book.
The whole series is complex and with tons of foreshadowing - the rest even moreso than the first. There is definitely an increase in the sceince fiction level as well in the rest of the series, and a decrease in fully described action sequences. Human nature and political intrigue are the stars of this series, action and violence occurs more and more as a briefly described or (even summarized) consequence.
In my opinion, #2 felt a little contrived (compared to #1 that is, but not in the grand scheme of literature) and #4 was, well, boring. 4 was very heady and philosophical but felt way too long. I enjoyed #3 and 5 & 6 picked back up nicely.
I intend to read "7 & 8" even though they are written by Frank Herbert's son, as they are based upon notes Frank sketched out for the final book he had planned to write.
So, long to short, if any of the above even remotely interests you I recommend reading Dune. Its a classic of the genre for good reason. As for the series, you need not read all to enjoy Dune. I think only a minority will enjoy it, but I certainly have. To illustrate: the above may not be a glowing review, but I've read 1-6 w/in a span of 3 months, so you know I liked it.
A very enjoyable read that maintains great suspense despite heavy foreshadowing and alternate timelines. One is the main character with his robotic sh...moreA very enjoyable read that maintains great suspense despite heavy foreshadowing and alternate timelines. One is the main character with his robotic shrink ("present day"), the other his time on gateway. Both are engaging and feed off each other well.
The insight into human nature and psychology is well crafted, though the occassional more literal applications of Fruedian principals (present day timeline) may be out of date or skewed interpretation, they don't take away form the work.
This is a much more subtle work than other sci-fi classics that emphasize either detail or overt social messages. Much is unknown (even to the characters) about the ships and technology they are surrounded by, which allows more room for characters and plot and less time spent on tech details. (Though they are there for you to enjoy.) In other words, as far as classic Sci-fi goes, this book is more like Solaris than Dune. (I like all 3.)(less)