Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Information is everything in Hard-boiled Wonderland. A specialist encrypter is attacked by thugs with orders from an unknown source, is chased by invisible predators, and dates an insatiably hungry librarian who never puts on weight. In the End of the World a new arrival is learning his role as dream-reader. But there is something eerily disquieting about the changeless nature of the town and its fable-like inhabitants. Told in alternate chapters, the two stories converge and combine to create a novel that is surreal, beautiful, thrilling, and extraordinary.
A wildly inventive fantasy and a meditation on the many uses of the mind
Rowan writes: HBW has all the trademark eccentricity of Murakamiâ€™s early work, but also a structure in which the two seemingly unrelated stories which unfold gradually come together to reveal the secret at the heart of the narrative. This is also an exercise in plays on genre, from the hard-boiled detective fiction of the title to the surreal village at the end of the world where fantasy and technology come together. This work may well be Haruki Murakamiâ€™s masterpiece.