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Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
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Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (Paperback)

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Synopsis

A narrative particle-accelerator that zooms between Wild Turkey Whiskey and Bob Dylan, unicorn skulls and voracious librarians, John Coltrane and Lord Jim. Science fiction, detective story and post-modern manifesto all rolled into one rip-roaring novel, Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is the tour de force that expanded Haruki Murakami's international following. Tracking one man's descent into the Kafkaesque underworld of contemporary Tokyo, Murakami unites East and West, tragedy and farce, compassion and detachment, slang and philosophy. The result is a wildly inventive fantasy and a meditation on the many uses of the mind.

Fiction & PoetryFantasyFiction & PoetryFiction in translationFiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945 Publisher: Vintage Publication Date: 28/09/2001 ISBN-13: 9780099448785  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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In 1978, Haruki Murakami was 29 and running a jazz bar in downtown Tokyo. One April day, the impulse to write a novel came to him suddenly while watching a baseball game. That first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, won a new writers' award and was published the following year. More followed, including A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, but it was Norwegian Wood, published in 1987, which turned Murakami from a writer into a phenomenon. His books became bestsellers, were translated into many languages, including English, and the door was thrown wide open to Murakami's unique and addictive fictional universe. Murakami writes with admirable discipline, producing ten pages a day, after which he runs ten kilometres (he began long-distance running in 1982 and has participated in numerous marathons and races), works on translations, and then reads, listens to records and cooks. His passions colour his non-fiction output, from What I Talk About When I Talk About Running to Absolutely On Music, and they also seep into his novels and short stories, providing quotidian moments in his otherwise freewheeling flights of imaginative inquiry. In works such as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84 and Men Without Women, his distinctive blend of the mysterious and the everyday, of melancholy and humour, continues to enchant readers, ensuring Murakami's place as one of the world's most acclaimed and well-loved writers.

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Staff Choice

The book that converted me to Murakami. An ethereal mix of droning unicorn skulls, dreamreaders and a bleak hallucinatory world teetering upon the precipice of tangibility. This is the pinnacle of magic realism! A savage sledgehammer to the soul that makes us both question reality and teases us with life's fleeting opportunities. The kind of sacred prose that saddens you as you read it as you realise you'll never confront it for the first time again. The hint is in the title here with this being both a nimble detective story and a brutal apocalypse of the subconscious. - Benjamin

Charing Cross Rd Bookshop - 21/03/2012

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