Morrissey once sang about living in the arse of the world. Well, I am pretty sure Murakami represents the arse of literature. This is apparently his masterpiece, which means, of course, that it is his longest [or it was, as it has now been superseded by 1Q84] and most Politically Aware [you getting this, nobel judges!] novel. Unfortunately, none of that is worth a drip of piss if the writing is as stilted and catastrophically poor as is on display here.

What can one expect from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle? Uh, do you even need to ask? Anyone who has a mere passing interest in Murakami’s work already knows what to expect: a nondescript, emotionally stunted every-bloke and some insufferably kooky women.

THE BEST BIT: Every-bloke crawls into a well, and, y’know, stays down there for a while.

Worth noting re: the best bit: Well, it’s kinda stolen from The Silent Cry by Kenzaburo Oe.

Also worth noting re: the best bit: The bottom of a well usually only accommodates one person, so the possibility of any of those kooky women turning up is diminished.

Warning re: the best bit: I’m pretty sure one of those kooky women does turn up in the well.

THE WORST BIT: the kooky women, of course. Oh, and the tour-de-force man-getting-skinned-alive sequence [seriously, nobel judges, YOU GETTING THIS?!]. Ack, why do authors feel the need to hammer us with this kind of pornographic shite? I can imagine what a man being skinned alive entails, Haruki, I don’t need you to describe it for me in excruciating detail. Fuck the fuck off.



  1. ha! you have saved me much pains by this review, I will remove it from my list. I was only trying to fit in with all the cool arty people who constantly rave about this author. Good riddance to social acceptance and onwards to better fiction!

    1. Thanks for your comment Victoria. Don’t let me put you off though. It’s very highly rated. Although I must say the cool, arty people you know need to try harder. This is pretty mainstream.

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