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La fine del mondo e il paese delle meraviglie

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  115,010 ratings  ·  6,888 reviews
In una piccola e spettrale città chiusa dentro mura che la separano dal resto del mondo, vivono abitanti privi dell'ombra e dei sentimenti, tranquilli al riparo di ogni emozione. Tra di loro, un nuovo arrivato ha il compito di leggere "i vecchi sogni" nel teschio degli unicorni, unici animali del luogo, cogliendo frammenti di memorie e di un'altra vita, di un'altra possibi ...more
Paperback, Super ET, 516 pages
Published March 4th 2008 by Einaudi (first published June 15th 1985)
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Junta I recently read a collection of his essays, 'Novelist as Profession', published in Japan in 2015 (it might be a while before it's translated into Engl…moreI recently read a collection of his essays, 'Novelist as Profession', published in Japan in 2015 (it might be a while before it's translated into English) - the 9th chapter is on characters.

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)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.14  · 
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Apr 30, 2007 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
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unclose your mind. You are not a prisoner. You are a bird in fight, searching the skies for dreams.
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Sekai no Owari to Hādoboirudo Wandārando = Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami

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

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 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, wit
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World

"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
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
May 30, 2012 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
Steven Godin

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
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
J.L.   Sutton
Feb 22, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Everyone may be ordinary, but they're not normal.”

Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by jenhuggybear on DeviantArt

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
Jr Bacdayan
May 30, 2016 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
K.D. Absolutely
Dec 16, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Dra. Ranee
Shelves: asian, sci-fi
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
Feb 18, 2009 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
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
I am SO disappointed right now! I read a short story collection by Murakami a short time ago, and I loved it! I loved his writing, and I mostly liked the imaginative side of the stories. This book, despite the fact that this was full of imagination, it ended up being a confused, weird mess, that I just couldn't wait to finish.

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
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
Barry Pierce
Y'know when you're watching a film and there's a shot or even a sequence that's just really cleverly done? Like all the long shots in Roma or the locust swarms in Days of Heaven or essentially all of Fitzcarraldo ? These scenes rip you from the suspended disbelief of narrative and force you to witness the film as a technical product. You think, ah! that was very clever, kudos to the person who did that. That brief moment when you couldn't care less about what is actually happening in the world ...more
"This was getting weird. Even if I believed him, I wouldn’t believe it."

This is the most philosophical of Murakami's books that I've read so far, and the most melancholic. It's also, along with Kafka on the Shore, my favourite.

It's twisty and vibrant and weird - in other words, typical Murakami. There are unicorns and dream worlds, libraries, librarians, and imprisoned shadows. And let's not leave out the mysterious, evil INKlings, hiding out in a nightmarish subterranean world.

I'm hesitant to w
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan, 2020-read
The main attraction of this wild literary romp about the workings of the human mind is its daring clash of genres and its intricate composition: This novel has elements of sci-fi, fantasy, cyberpunk, dystopia, fairy tale, parable, American detective fiction, psychological novel, adventure/quest novel, novel of ideas, and even jump-and-run computer games (tunnels! shafts!). Murakami alternates between two worlds, and as the story progresses, it becomes clear how they are connected. "Hard-boiled w ...more
Sep 09, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2008
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
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Each time I read a Murakami novel, I realise just how much I love him. By far my favourite author, I adore the lengths he goes to to describe everything in precise detail. His books are definitely made to be read slowly and to savour - so that you can drink in all of the minute details. There is no other author who writes in such a beautiful way, sometimes you can go for pages and pages with nothing really happening but you read on as the writing is incredible. Such a unique author. I will never ...more
Mar 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
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 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
Oct 11, 2011 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.
Aug 07, 2012 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 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
Stephen P(who no longer can participate due to illness)
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
Jul 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fun and mind bending read! The story has parallel narratives. One called Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the other is The End of the World. I can't imagine anybody but Murakami writing this book. It wouldn't have been the same. I won't tell you the plot because A: I don't want to spoil anything and B: I'm still confused on what happened anyway so it would be pointless to try. This is my 8th Haruki Murakami book and the quality hasn't waned in the slightest. It's been a long time since I felt s ...more
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Murakami Haruki (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

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