Haruki Murakami is a well-known, and popular author; not only in Japan but also in the United States. His stories generally span generations, time, and place. They force us to think, not only about ourselves but about society as a whole. In this recent book Murakami takes a look at modern Japanese society and the pressures that it faces, especially the youth. It follows Tsukuru Tazaki as he tries to find out why a group of friends stopped talking with him when he went to school in Tokyo while they stayed home. He has trouble coming to grips of his friends abandoning him for no reason. Though he seems cool on the outside, inside he is troubled, depressed, and more. Over time he slowly comes to grip with it, and with a little help he eventually starts reaching out to the surviving friends to find out why and to correct any misinformation. Along the way he comes to find out more about himself.
This is not Murakami’s best work. This reviewer has read books that are better. This book was difficult to develop and feel any sympathy for the characters. Even the protagonist is not very likeable. The writing style is not as interesting as his other major works. In the range of Murakami’s books this is not the best.
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