Published: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
The following ISBNs are associated
ISBN - 10: 0385678029
with this title:
ISBN - 13: 9780385678025
From the Publisher
Smell The Book Review - 8.5 out of 10
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book before I started. The author and book came recommended from a recent article in Bookmarks and I had enough time to take on a longer title so figured I would give it a shot. I was very pleasantly surprised.
A longer read at over 1100 pages, the book is one of the most heavily character-driven novels I have ever read. It mainly passes back and forth between the events that unfold between the two main protagonists, Aomame and Tengo. The plot touches lightly on science-fiction while never going into the "too-fine-a-point" on some key elements in the story. Who are the little people? Where do they come from and why do they do the things they do? Why was Tengo's father apparently appearing in the story from time to time after his death? Does everyone in the alternate universe see the two moons? If Aomame travelled into an alternate universe, what happened to the version of her that was already in that universe? What happened to Tengo's older girlfriend?
I do like stories that wrap things up and explain some of the loose ends, but I must admit I was captured by the characters and their interactions with the new universe.
Something I found very clever is that as the story explains, this alternate universe is different from our in very subtle ways sometimes. The actual page numbers of the book are moved throughout the book (i.e. from the top corner to the bottom or the middle of a page) and other times they are facing the "normal" way. and other times the page numbers are printed backwards. Very clever!
I have asked around and apparently the book of Murakami's that seems to come up most often is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles which will be my next book from this author.