Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

A Novel

Book - 1991
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Baker & Taylor
A clerk in a Tokyo of the near future works in an organization that controls the flow of information to society--employing electronic brainwashing and other insidious techniques--a job that contributes to his increasing sense of dehumanization

Publisher: Tokyo ; New York : Kodansha International : Distributed in the U.S. by Kodansha America, 1991
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9784770015440
Characteristics: 400 p. ; 25 cm


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SCL_Justin Aug 02, 2018

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is (on most days) my favourite novel by Haruki Murakami. It has early 90sish cyberpunk elements to it, which drew me in the first time I read it, but what stuck with me was the physicalization of the subconscious.

The End of the World is a village with unicorns and to read dreams there the narrator has to be separated from his shadow. What does that mean? It's hard to say because there, our hero doesn't have any memory of any other life before the village. Meanwhile in the Hard-Boiled Wonderland the narrator is trying to solve the mystery of a professor's disappearance with the help of a hungry librarian and a proper couch for ruminating upon. The storylines influence each other indirectly but the book is really about their incompatibility.

It's a bit of a weird book about the importance of the parts of our minds we don't have access to and I love it immensely.

Aug 16, 2016

My favorite Murakami so far (generally not the biggest fan, although I've tried several of his books.) Took me forever to get through, but this story was so fun and imaginative!

Apr 26, 2016

Enjoyed it for the most part, left me thinking at times about how the mind and imagination worked. A little hard to comprehend at times but still a good read.

Aug 31, 2014

Is the elimination of the problems of life worth the loss of the mind? Is an eternity of Boredom better then nothingness? These intriguing questions Haruki Murakami dives into in is novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World.

The novel takes place in 2 separate worlds. One world is futuristic cyberpunk-esk yet slightly mystical, containing information theft, Kappa, and other-worldley science. The second world is a mythical world, containing unicorns, Dream-readers, and shadows that die. Each chapter switches between each world.

This a good book for you if you are a fan of cyber punk, magical realism, human behavior, and questions of the afterlife, but this book is not the easiest to read. The Author spends much of the book focusing on detail, and towards the end, on the way the characters spend their life. Instead of continuously working towards a problem, solution, and ending, the Author explores the lives of the characters in intense details and creates a more realistic story, from the perspective of human nature, then readers seeking action packed novels may be accustomed to, or even enjoy.

GeoffAbel Nov 12, 2013

This is the first book of HM's that I've read and was supremely disappointed given his reputation. Starts off boring becomes interesting and then becomes boring again. Nice wordcraft though...

Oct 13, 2013

Quite an enjoyable novel that has nothing to do with Buddhist metaphysics (see snarski), but rather with the workings of the brain and imagination. It combines the surreal with aspects of cyberpunk. What snarski got wrong was that this world was a subconscious invention of the main character that in some way related to his gift for "shuffling" information. It was completely his own world within himself, not the Buddhist nirvana (which, in any case, is nothingness, not an alternative world, no matter how sedate).

Apr 21, 2013

Cheesy, metaphysical pulp fiction. If you could preview nirvana to see if an eternity of no suffering was your kind of thing, would you leave your self at the gate and stay? The story imagines Buddhism's ultimate metaphysical state as a mythical kingdom surrounded by unicorns. Meanwhile, the narrator's conscious world is caught up in a caper of cyberthugs, mad scientists and subterrainian monsters (it's Tokyo . . . you gotta have monsters.) A fun read.

Apr 16, 2013

I thought the characters were like cardboard cut-outs. I persevered for half the book but that enough.

mrzipan22 Nov 05, 2011

My favorite Murakami novel, thus far. I like him best when he describes a territory that is a map of some part of the mind that we are on the verge of being conscious of, yet remains mostly hidden like an iceberg.


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Mar 09, 2011

angrytoast thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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