Rated of 5
by SG Griffith
This is a fascinating book, with surprising and original elements that appear more surrealistically than magically. Two main characters walk their paths through these images, while trying to find a place in shifting realities. Like the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by the same author, this is a love story.
One character perceives a cat town, the other 1Q84, a play on Orwell's novel.
Fascism and cultism strive for influence in Murakami's fictional Japan. Yukio Mishima must be in the author's mind, and his novels or the excellent film about his life would be worth investigation (Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters).
Violence against women is a theme here as well, with women taking charge, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.
This book is very long, and there is a great deal of repetition, which increases toward the end. I have read that in Japan, where it was originally published, the novel came out in two parts originally. Then a third and final section was added. It may be that the rhythm was broken at that point, but you should read it for yourself and decide.