I’m a pretty big Murakami fan and this is fairly solid. It’s not the same caliber as the other books of his that I’ve read, but they were produced at a different time in his life, when he had some more experience as a writer under his belt. It’s a superb feeling to read his prose when he marries both the practical and the fictional into one beautifully-crafted story. He takes aspects of the real world and adds entertaining bits of fiction to make it a tasty reality that you really look forward to living in. If you’re looking for a plot arc that goes from A to B, I daresay you will not necessarily find that in Murakami writing. His is more literary stuff, but really well written.
Something about this book that I enjoyed was the preface. I had long heard the anecdote of when Murakami became inspired to become a novelist, but it is in this preface that he tells the tale himself. It was a very cool to see.
I would recommend this book to those of my friends out there who just love to read good prose. Murakami has had the same English translator for quite some time and he does a great job. If you’re into books, good prose, and have never tried Murakami before, I recommend it. I’m not sure I would start with this book, though. Start with some of his short stories. I recommend a short book called ‘After the Quake.’ There’s a short story in there called “Superfrog Saves Tokyo.” I’ve never laughed at a short story before. Good stuff.