R. Tim Morris’ Rating: 8/10
My first Haruki Murakami experience. Loved the first book and second book. Book Three just didn’t have enough steam, and could probably have been written more as an epilogue. Far too many chapters where the characters were just waiting around for stuff to happen. The introduction of Ushikawa as a main character seemed unceccessary even though he was pivotal in the final meeting of Aomame & Tengo.
Murakami has interesting ways of providing information to the reader. In two instances that I can think of (the first time we learn of Tengo’s childhood memories of Aomame & when we learn about what really happened to his mother) the information is almost thrown in unexpectedly and in very strange parts of the story. I found this interesting from a writing standpoint.
The mystery was fascinating and the characters were fresh (though I found Tengo to be much more interesting than Aomame). I don’t usually read magical realism, but I really enjoyed the ideas of the Air Chrysalis, the tale of the Cat Town and the alternate realities. It all added up to one of the most unique books I’ve read.