Murakami's fiction is a sympathetic portrait of everyday Japan interspersed with the surreal. While the subway sarin attacks were certainly jarring and unexpected, they don't qualify in the same way as the fantastical happenings in his novels, and I think the book suffers as a result. In his quest to faithfully reflect the subjective experiences of the victims, Murakami doesn't seem to realise that he can do this while allowing himself some creativity with format and style.Nevertheless, the stories the poisoned salarymen desperately trying to get to work on time despite barely being able to see contrast starkly with the profiles of the confused and alienated, yet not unsympathetic, members of the Aum cult, and together they offer a unique window into modern-day Japan and its discontents.
While the ruminations on religion were a bit laborious and the epilogue was totally unnecessary, this was a well-characterised, gripping survival story that pretty much read itself over a couple of days.
That kid at school who always had a runny nose and a rash around his mouth from licking his lips, and he smelled funny, and used to eat out of the bin and expose himself to other kids...he grew up and Cormac McCarthy wrote a book about him
This guy was in the running for a five-star review and probably would have made it if not for the post-climactic ending, in which Pierre feels the inexplicable need to get everything all squared away, thoroughly diminishing the enjoyment of the preceding events. If you haven't read it, this review is now making less than no sense, and I simply recommend you read it until you start to feel mildly disappointed, then stop.
A violent page-turner let down somewhat by a writing style that occasionally jarred me as simplistic and perhaps patronising. I did, however, finish the final third at top speed - the plot will get its hooks into you.
I wish Goodreads did .5 ratings, because this is a solid 3.5. Page-turny, exciting, not particularly challenging sci-fi. Definitely a holiday book. I read this without having read The Breach, and it didn't demand too much prior knowledge.
I read this book and I kept coming across all these things I like! It was very embarrassing. I swear, I'm not a stereotype. Now if I could only find the right humourous vintage T-shirt to express my uniqueness...see you at the organic bakery...
Sci-Fi? THIS is how you do it. China's apocalyptic fantasy stuff hadn't rocked my world all that hard, but this book is genre-spawning. Amazing, though my linguistics might have kept me enthralled where others went all eye-glazy.