Review of Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami

Murakami’s Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World continues the post-modernistic tradition that aware readers have come to love.  Upon completing the second chapter, it is clear that something different, something unfamiliar is occurring.  The story is rife with metaphors and characters that work enough to keep us engaged, but it is really the storytelling’s style itself that causes our fingers to seek an instantaneous transition from one page to the next.

The story’s feint is that it’s about a detective.  Of course, no tale worth its salt is ever about what it portends.  Some authors make their points directly.  For Murakami, who convincingly communicates that he is well-read, however, it is simply no longer interesting to tell the reader what to think.

As with other post-modern and fabulistic works, this book is a reaction.  It is a plea to cause readers to never forget that no one should be taken for granted.  In using these artistic movements, Murakami firmly plants his feet and announces to the world that he is not to be trifled with.

In the end, there is certainly nothing new under the sun.  Yet Murakami has found a way to take his readers on a journey that is fun, difficult to predict, challenging and finally, rewarding.  If you’ve been in a reading rut and need a book to shake things up, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that you can’t put this one down.

****

Murakami, Haruki. Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World: A Novel. New York: Vintage, 1991. Print.

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