Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
A narrative particle accelerator that zooms between Wild Turkey Whiskey and Bob Dylan, unicorn skulls and voracious librarians, John Coltrane and Lord Jim. Science fiction, detective story and post-modern manifesto all rolled into one rip-roaring novel, Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is the tour de force that expanded Haruki Murakami's international follow...more
Although the answers submitted to this question are all valid, there is another simple reason mentioned in that chapter (my translation):
"I was okay with nicknames like 'The Rat' or 'J', but I just couldn't set proper names for the characters. Why not? I'm not sure myself, and can only say that I was embarrassed about naming people. I'm not sure how to put it, but it seemed somewhat artificial for someone like me to be freely designating names onto people (even if they were fictional characters I created).
The first time I was able to properly name characters was in 'Norwegian Wood' (1987). So, in the first eight years before that, I was using nameless characters and writing in the first person view. Thinking about it, it seems I was limiting myself with a tedious rule, but I didn't give it a second thought then."
tl;dr this novel was published in 1985, before Norwegian Wood when he started naming characters.(less)
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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 ...more
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World ~~ Haruki Murakami
Buddy read with my friend, Srđan.
There is so much to say about Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World; I'm just not certain I'm the one to say it. I was never able to quite connect with the characters or the plot on an emotional level. Part of the problem is that Murakami attempts to blend so many different literary genre ...more
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is a 1985 novel by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. The English translation by Alfred Birnbaum was released in 1991.
A strange and dreamlike novel, its chapters alternate between two bizarre narratives—"Hard-Boiled Wonderland" (a cyberpunk-like, science fiction part) and "The End of the World" (a virtual fantasy-like, surreal part).
تاریخ نخست ...more
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 ...more
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, wit ...more
"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 ...more
"Do you really expect me to know what's going on?"
The two stories are told in alternating chapters. HBW is a gritty urban cybercrime and infowar adventure, where Calcutecs hired by the System are programmed to shuffle data outside their consciousness, to encrypt it, and Semiotecs from the Factory try to steal it. It’s told in the past tense. TEotW is set in a Town that feels folkloric, enclosed by a perfect Wall, where no one has a shadow, and golde ...more
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 ...more
Despite this having 'the End of the World' in it's title, I felt there was very little of the foreboding and eerie feeling from something like 'After Dark', which, in my opinion, is vastly underrated, and easily the best novel I've read by him so far. That felt more like a nightmarish noir; one that really got under my skin, while this effort fell more into the realms of Studio Ghibli fantasy and sci-fi, which isn't really my thing. I liked the double narrative style; which actually wasn't as co ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
Haruki Murakami's novels are filled with seemingly ordinary people, but with Murakami, ordinary takes on a whole new meaning. In Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, our protagonist's day at the office plays out in parallel worlds the existence of which he barely questions. Becoming a dreamreader of unicorn skulls? Nothing unusual here; let's get to it! "There's normal and then there's normal," responds our narrator.
Immersion into M ...more
This book was creative, but it just bored me endlessly. None of the chapters fused together to make a readable story, and it left me feeling frustrated.
I got the feeling th ...more
“More often than not I’ve observed that convenient approximations bring you closest to comprehending the true nature of things.”
3.5 stars. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World’s strange, playful investigation into the complexities of the mind was innovative, thought-provoking and, quite often, utterly charming. Here dualism, which often runs the risk of oversimplification and hence of becoming uninspired (and ultimately uninteresting), instead functioned in a manner that was both ...more
The title refe ...more
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.
Such are the days when the spring winds down. ...more
If I were to liken it to anything I’ve read before it would be Man in the Dark, ...more
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"Some books are fast and some are slow, but no book can be understood if it is taken at the wrong speed"
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"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 ...more
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 ...more
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 certai ...more
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 ...more
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|UPEP Reading Grou...: Book 4: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World||1||3||Mar 01, 2020 03:44PM|
|What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Librarian keeps/reads memories from holding skulls. [s]||5||26||Apr 08, 2019 03:40PM|
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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