A wildly inventive fantasy and a meditation on the many uses of the mind
Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. He is the author of many novels as well as short stories and non-fiction. His works include Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, After Dark and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. His work has been translated into more than forty languages, and the most recent of his many international honours is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J.M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V.S. Naipaul.
Murakami's lightning prose more than sustains the elaborate plot of this thriller, set in a Tokyo of the near future. (Mar.)
The last surviving victim of an experiment that implanted the subjects' heads with electrodes that decipher coded messages is the unnamed narrator of this excellent book by Murakami, one of Japan's best-selling novelists and winner of the prestigious Tanizaki prize. Half the chapters are set in Tokyo, where the narrator negotiates underground worlds populated by INKlings, dodges opponents of both sides of a raging high-tech infowar, and engages in an affair with a beautiful librarian with a gargantuan appetite. In alternating chapters he tries to reunite with his mind and his shadow, from which he has been severed by the grim, dark ``replacement'' consciousness implanted in him by a dotty neurophysiologist. Both worlds share the unearthly theme of unicorn skulls that moan and glow. Murakami's fast-paced style, full of hip internationalism, slangy allegory, and intrigue, has been adroitly translated. Murakami is also author of A Wild Sheep Chase ( LJ 10/15/89); his new work is recommended for academic libraries and public libraries emphasizing serious contemporary fiction.-- D.E. Perushek, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville
"His fantasies, with their easy reference to western pulp fiction and music, retain a beauty of the mind" * Guardian * "A remarkable writer...he captures the common ache of contemporary heart and head" -- Jay McInerney "Combines a witty sci-fi pastiche and a dream-like Utopian fantasy in two separate narratives which alternate in an interweave of precognition and deja vu" -- Richard Lloyd Parry * Independent * "Here is abundant imagination at play" * Sunday Times * "Murakami's bold willingness to go straight-over-the-top has always been a signal indication of his genius...a powerful melange of disillusioned radicalism, keen intelligence, wicked sarcasm and a general allegiance to the surreal. If Murakami is the "voice of a generation," as he is often proclaimed in Japan, then it is the generation of Thomas Pynchon and Don De Lillo" * Washington Post *