I like Murakami’s slow, mesmerising style. The plot of this book is quite a slow burn, with passages that seem to go on for nearly too long, then to come to an end before another, equally allusive, begins. To what, or whom, is the author alluding? To the importance of love, and how some people don’t realise it; to the passing of time, and how it changes us; and to youth, and its unawareness of passing time.

The story is set in Tokyo, and concerns the central character’s feelings about his dead friend and the girls in his life. The narrator’s voice is sometimes disengaged and disinterested in the story it is telling, which is in itself slightly disquieting and makes the reader wonder what else is going on in the narrator’s mind.

I did find the book a bit too slow, at times. But perhaps that is part of the pleasure, the pushing on through to the uneventful ending?