“Hardboiled wonderland and the end of the world” by Haruki Murakami is the Japanese work of literature that I chose for my #196challenge of reading the world.
Genre: “Light” Fantasy/Scifi
The maincharacter works as a Calcutec, which implies processing data using only his mind, and is one day contacted by a somewhat eclectic and strange genius, with a chubby yet attractive granddaughter. The ‘hero’ now gets whirled into the information-war between the System, where he and other Calcutecs work, and the Factory, where the Semiotecs are. The latter are known for brutality and the battle has been on in the shadows for ages. This plotline alternates with another plotline, where the maincharacter, who might or might not be the same, is trying to find contempt in a world so simple that there is no need for an independent mind or thought. Even his shadow is unescessary.
This book is constructed with two plotlines alternating between chapters, with the two never really interweaving though it becomes more and more obvious how the two are related. It is a wellknown and commonly used way of constructing a story, which gives more room to extract and prolong the excitement and cliffhangers produced in each chapter. It also acts as a foreshadower and helps build anticipation about what is going to happen next, which I quite enjoy myself.
It is so wellwritten, that I could hardly put it down, when I first started reading it. I have even had reading-cravings for that book/plotline/fictional world, after finishing the book, and that doesn’t happen often.
The language used in it, was so descriptive, imaginative and informative, without ever being an overload of useless sentences and filling, that it was a joy to dance from one page to another. The characters were described as if they were actually people – like in real life, where you don’t know everything about someone, and you probably never will. I love it when authors don’t just give it all away within the first encounter with a character.
The fictional worlds constructed in this piece, were so complete and so believable to me. That was impressive, and contributed to an even higher quality reading experience. I dislike it when someone creates a universe of some sort, but doesn’t finish it. It was very eloquently explained, without implying that the reader is an outsider – it was more like being invited in.
All in all, I really just enjoyed this book immensely, and the fictional worlds, especially one of them, really sparked my imagination and made me think.
So if you like sci-fi/fantasy with root in reality, brain- and mindscience, informationwars, conflict between worlds and a little romance on top, including one persons choice of a lifetime, then this book is something you should try!