September 2016 Book Club Book: Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami

Discussion in 'TMB Book Club' started by RegimentML, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    In this hyperkinetic and relentlessly inventive novel, Japan’s most popular (and controversial) fiction writer hurtles into the consciousness of the West. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the Worlddraws readers into a narrative particle accelerator in which a split-brained data processor, a deranged scientist, his shockingly undemure granddaughter, Lauren Bacall, Bob Dylan, and various thugs, librarians, and subterranean monsters collide to dazzling effect. What emerges is simultaneously cooler than zero and unaffectedly affecting, a hilariously funny and deeply serious meditation on the nature and uses of the mind.

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  2. Iron Mickey

    Iron Mickey is this thing on?
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    anybody got an ebook? I just blew my September book budget on the last four Dresden novels
     
  3. The Blackfish

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    Iron Mickey PM me your email and I'll send it to you when I get home this afternoon.
     
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  4. Iron Mickey

    Iron Mickey is this thing on?
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    esteemed book clubber Truman hooked me up, thanks though
     
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  5. The Blackfish

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    Esteemed? Let's not get carried away
     
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  6. Iron Mickey

    Iron Mickey is this thing on?
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    ok active participant Truman sent me the mobi
     
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  7. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Im pretty esteemy.
     
    #7 Truman, Sep 2, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2016
  8. Truman

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    Knocked out the first 6 chapters today (thanks hangover). Pretty quick read, but too early to have any clue wtf is going on.
     
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  9. Truman

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    Through Chapter 10 The Wall

    We finally got something that links the two stories. Unicorns.... cool.

    The shadow being separated from the person reminds me of the Disney Peter Pan cartoon where the shadow dances around behind their backs.

    Anyway - way too early prediction sure to be wrong: The guy in current time goes back in time/dimensions or w/e to the walled city to infiltrate them or investigate the unicorns. They wipe his memory somehow, but the shadow remembers everything. Eventually the shadow jogs h
    is memory and we go from there.

    If that actually happens, Im going to be super proud of myself
     
  10. Truman

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    Through Chapter 24 Shadow Grounds

    Starting to look like I was right

    [​IMG]

    Dont really have much to add after that. Been kind of bored the past few chapters. Just want to get to wherever we're going with the story.
     
  11. KJROD20

    KJROD20 the ends will justify the means.
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    I'm at the part after

    the bad guys just trashed his place and nearly gut him like a fish

    and to me it seems really obvious that

    the two characters are the same person and there's some Inception type shit going on. The dreamreader is obviously his mind, so the question for me is, are he and his shadow trying to escape representing the shuffled data trying to be stolen by the bad guys?
     
  12. The Blackfish

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    Starting today
     
  13. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Finished today. 5.5/10

    I just couldnt get into it. Once you got to the twist/merging of the two stories, I just wanted to know how it ended, not really caring about how we get there. The ending as aight. I suppose it makes you wonder if him deciding to stay was of his own choosing or construct of not being able to bring him back. Im just wasnt invested enough to care
     
  14. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Damn. Bummed to see that score
     
  15. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    I feel like it's a love it or hate it type of book. Either the concept really intrigues you or just doesnt hit home. Wasn't for me, but I could see how some would dig this.
     
  16. The Blackfish

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    Was surprised to see that, goodreads is a 4.15. I'm maybe 6% in and confused as fuck but I like the writing style
     
  17. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Started this afternoon. Only read the first chapter. Fat chicks and elevators
     
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  18. The Blackfish

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    Through Chapter 13

    I have no idea whats going on. I'm interested though. Enjoying the parts with the guy who loves fat chicks more than the guy with no shadow.

    That's about all that I have right now
     
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  19. KJROD20

    KJROD20 the ends will justify the means.
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    This book is a struggle.
     
  20. RegimentML

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    I'm through Ch 6 now. Weird fucking book so far (and it sounds like it stays that way) but I enjoy the way he writes. I also liked the tangent on sofas.
     
  21. Blackterno

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    I'm late on the party here. I'd normally have read this by now but I'm in the middle of a series that I am really enjoying.

    Is this book worth interrupting a series I'm liking? Or should I just pass until next month?
     
  22. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    I didnt care for it, but seems like others are as they're reading it.

    I say read it. Its a pretty short, and a quick read. Even if you hate it, the worst case scenario is you get to discuss it with us, and lose a little time :idk:
     
  23. RegimentML

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    Probably a pretty obvious thing but I'm through Ch 14

    I'm assuming shadow-guy is fat chicks-guy, right? Repeated references to the End of the World by fat-chicks guy, the person who's helping shadow-guy in The Town is called "The Librarian," which would be similar to the library worker fat-chicks guy met who eats a ton of food. Has to be the same protagonist.

    Still trying to figure out what the significance of unicorns is outside of just another commonality between the two story lines.

    I'm assuming the unicorns will somehow be the link between shadow guy and jogging his memory. Or maybe his shadow will remember. But why unicorns?
     
  24. KJROD20

    KJROD20 the ends will justify the means.
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    Finally finished. 2/5, which is probably high.

    The only part I actually cared about was whether or not he was going to fuck the pink dress chubber. That probably says enough about this book.

    BRB while I post that on Goodreads.
     
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  25. RegimentML

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    I'm maybe a third through. I'm intrigued and somewhat entertained, but it's not a must read so far. The benefit of reading it would be to join in on the confused discussion.
     
  26. RegimentML

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    I was moving pretty good but about two thirds in it's starting to drag. Lots of explanation in a short span.
     
  27. The Blackfish

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    I have about an hour left in the audiobook. I'm still enjoying it.
     
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  28. The Blackfish

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    I guess I'll be the guy that liked it. 7.5/10

    So I'll call the chapters in reality the Hard Boiled Chapters and the chapters in his mind the EOTW chapters.

    I really enjoyed the Hard Boiled Chapters. The narrator was interesting, parts were funny, parts were somewhat exciting/intense. I too wanted him to pork miss piggy, but at least he got the Librarian 3 times in one night. I also enjoyed the existentialism aspect of the whole thing, how much control do we have over our own lives. Are the decisions we make our own or are they pre programmed in. How much do our memories and experiences shape who we are? What would we be like if we were a sample of just one moment in our lives for the rest of our lives (a la the EOTW chapters.)

    It was interesting to me that the whole feel of the narrator in those chapters was completely different than the feel of the narrator in the Hard Boiled Chapters, despite them being the same person. The narrator had the brain of just one sample moment in his life thanks to the prof and was stripped of all of his memories and experiences.

    Also enjoyed the ending. Can he piece back together his mind? What would have happened if he jumped in the pool with his shadow? Can he ever come back and fuck miss piggy using all available technologies?

    I usually don't love open ended books, but I was okay with it here.

    7.5/10 not the best book in the world but I was drawn in and enjoyed it, which is why I think I liked it more than others
     
  29. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Finished this morning. I thought the final fifty pages were the best of the book. Bumped my score up, though I would still keep it as a 3* on Goodreads.

    My thoughts are similar to The Blackfish so I won't type out a long review. I would have liked more information on

    The System, symiotecs (probably mispelling that), the inkLINGS, why the creatures happened to be unicorns, etc. I'm assuming those things were intentionally vague. But I thought it kept me a bit removed from the story just because they seemed to be placed there for no real reason other than to be odd and interesting.