A Tale of Two Cities
The Complete Short Stories
Fahrenheit 451
Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
Navigators of Dune
End of Watch
The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights
Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare
King Henry VI, Part 3
King Henry VI, Part 2
Henry VI, Part 1
King Henry IV, Part Two
King Henry IV, Part 1
Richard II
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America
The Rosie Effect
On the Nature of Things
So Anyway


Sunday, February 2, 2014


Haruki Murakami

Published: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated
with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385678029
ISBN - 13: 9780385678025

From the Publisher
The year is 1984. Aomame is riding in a taxi on the expressway, in a hurry to carry out an assignment. Her work is not the kind that can be discussed in public. When they get tied up in traffic, the taxi driver suggests a bizarre ''proposal'' to her. Having no other choice she agrees, but as a result of her actions she starts to feel as though she is gradually becoming detached from the real world. She has been on a top secret mission, and her next job leads her to encounter the superhuman founder of a religious cult. Meanwhile, Tengo is leading a nondescript life but wishes to become a writer. He inadvertently becomes involved in a strange disturbance that develops over a literary prize. While Aomame and Tengo impact on each other in various ways, at times by accident and at times intentionally, they come closer and closer to meeting. Eventually the two of them notice that they are indispensable to each other. Is it possible for them to ever meet in the real world?

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.


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