The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

Quite a long book, this one. A bit slow at times but ultimately satisfying. A large part of the book is about various alternative realities and how people pass between them. It is not always clear that what is being narrated is supposed actually to be happening. But that doesn’t matter, since the story is seen very much through the single consciousness of the protagonist, Toru Okada.

I really liked the evocation of Japan that comes with the book. I was lucky enough to live there for a couple of years so perhaps it resonated more with me than it would with someone who had never been there.

The translation is excellent and very consistent, though I can’t say how faithfully the style of the author has been transmitted. In this English version, however, it is understated and humble, making some of the dramatic events described all the more shocking.

A hypnotic, slow-burning read.

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