This book is good escapist reading. Also, I liked something about the awkward, crazy morbidity of the teenage girl character. Also, it made me want to...moreThis book is good escapist reading. Also, I liked something about the awkward, crazy morbidity of the teenage girl character. Also, it made me want to spend some time at the bottom of the well. Other than that, I am more willing to believe that Murakami is a good faker than a good writer. He is, in fact, good enough that I went on to read a couple of his other (somewhat less popular) books to try to find out whether he really had anything to say. They were empty & uninteresting under their thin veneer of literariness.
This book is better than most of the bestselling trash out there, but it's still trash, I think. Something about it initially struck me as pornographic, & after reading more Murakami I think I was right about that. I'm a big fan of writers like Henry Miller, & the sex here is not anywhere near as graphic as that, but there's a pointlessness to it--to Murakami's work as a whole (or at least what I've read of it)--that disturbs me. Pointlessness can be profound, as evidenced by Beckett & Kafka for instance. Murakami knows this, & makes pointlessness a major point of his work--but I think that's just a clever disguise, & the true purpose of his pointlessness is that he just doesn't know what he's saying. So he throws together some compelling, masturbatory, somewhat new-agey fantasies, leaves everything artfully untied, & lets the confused & titillated reader imagine that they've actually read something of substance.
Kudos to Murakami: he's done an excellent job of fakery. With this book at least.(less)