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Michael's Book Babble

I'm an indie author and a scribbler of inane babble. I talk about books I've read/liked. Or at least, that's the plan.


Most of the reviews will be considered "mini-reviews." Usually, it's mostly my reaction to what I've been reading. There are people who are far better at doing full and helpful reviews. But I still have fun doing them, and hope you enjoy them!

An addicting and insanely trippy ride

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World - Alfred Birnbaum, Haruki Murakami

How the hell do I give this a proper review? Haruki Murakami's Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is unlike anything I have ever experienced in the literary world. This is my third Murakami novel, and I wasn't disappointed. It contained all of the crazy, whimsical maddness I was hoping to finally experience from Murakami.


I'm not even going to attempt to explain the story. My apologies, but it wouldn't help for two big reasons. 1) It would make absolutely no effin' sense if I tried to explain it to you. I don't even think it's possible to explain it. It's something that has to be experienced. Truth is I went into this novel only knowing that it was by Murakami, and that a fellow reviewer on here recommended it as my next book. I knew little-to-nothing about the story before I began, and I'm actually happy about that. 2) Attempting to explain anything of the book would risk me spoiling some major, major surprises.


The book is very dreamlike, and we're never really sure what's real and what isn't--at least we're not until close to the end. What I loved most about this book was it's the first novel that I've read by Murakami where I was completely satisfied with the ending. I felt like things were resolved, while the story still left a sense of mystery at the end without you feeling like you had no clue what the hell just happened. As much as I loved After Dark, I felt the only real downside of that book was there was no solid resolution. Here, I felt no such thing. I was completely happy with how the book wrapped up, and it did so in a way that I didn't expect.


I listened to the audiobook, and it was fantastic. It's read by two readers; Adam Sims and Ian Porter. Both readers play their roles perfectly. One is lively while the other is more subtle and somber.


Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is something you can't explain. It's something that has to be experienced. I'd highly recommend it anybody who's curious about Haruki Murakami. Even though I've only read three novels by him (not counting his short story collections), I think for now this is my favorite. I know I probably didn't help much with this review, but I would never forgive myself if I spoiled it for you.


5 stars