This was the first Murakami I’ve attempted since his (unreadable (to me) IQ84, I was lured in because this one featured a painter protagonist (I like to sling paint at a canvas in my free time too) and, well, it was a buy-one-get-one free audio book. So, I did make it to the end of the 25 hours or so of narration and can say a few nice things about the novel. It does make some kind of sense, his portrayal of the artist rang true (after a few false starts) and I was pulled along to the end by the narrative (the I-wonder-what-will-happen-next quality). But, my goodness it’s long, needlessly so in my humble opinion, and is filled with frankly creepy discussions of a 13-year-old’s breasts and pseudo-literary twaddle (a metaphor literally comes alive) and well, after all the words, the protagonist is back where he started and I was left thinking what on earth was that all about? But not In a satisfying way given the time I’d devoted to the book. Enough already, Mr. Murakami.
No. 16 of 100 books I intend to read and review in 2020.
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Patrick Sherriff is an Englishman who survived 13 years working for newspapers in the US, UK and Japan. Between teaching English lessons at his conversation school in Abiko, Japan, with his wife, he writes and illustrates textbooks for non-native speakers of English, releases Hana Walker mystery novels, short stories, essays and a monthly newsletter highlighting good fiction published in English about Japan. Saku’s Random Book Club is his latest project to spend more time with books.