I was recently lamenting to a friend about how often I see lazy writing. With fantasy and science fiction, it can be much more obvious that the author lost some steam halfway through the book. Haphazard writing is never good (I’ve read my fair share of bad Harry Potter fanfiction…), but with fantasy or science fiction, the author is the creator of an entire universe. This is understandably no easy task, and I acknowledge the difficulty. However, if there are holes in the constructed world of the creator, it becomes glaringly obvious, whereas with other genres, authors still are able to fall back on or rely on presuppositions that come with writing within the real world. This is why I seem to have extraordinarily high standards when it comes to fantasy and science fiction. A story cannot just be compelling; the author has to immerse me so deeply into their universe that I begin to believe it is real.
This was the case when I read Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. For me, this was one of those books I had to read twice before I even began to truly understand its beauty. Even the second time around, certain parts of the narrative seemed inscrutable, not due to the complexity of the language but because my brain was finding it difficult to piece together the puzzle pieces to see the big picture or theme. As a fairly recent graduate, rereading this was also a little sentimental for me as I was first introduced to Murakami in my World Literature class, a class I took my very last semester at Cedarville. My professor had previously taught in Japan before, and because of his background had a huge soft spot for Japanese Literature.
I do not go into explicit detail about the book, but here’s a cautionary ***SPOILER ALERT*** Continue reading “Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World // review”