Having recently read books 1 and 2 (see below ), I was keen to get this k e and complete the experience.
To reassure you; it does conclude the book but to worry you: it does not do so in a neat and easy way.
This is of no surprise but I think I might have said it before; murakami is not so much about the story but about the journey on which it takes you and what you learn along the way.
I’ve also said before that I’m not sure how much is missed by not having a working knowledge of Japanese folklore. We all know how western stories work and how characters behave within them and have known this for all our lives since we were first taught stories by our parents. We then bro g this to each and every boom we read and it may well be that bringing a western background to a haruki murakami novel is not going to work as well for us.
Incidentally, do we think that the way our culture is developing will affect how we engage with story in the future. We are in a spoon-fed low engagement age where television, Internet and “screens” take us on a linear path. Voyages of discovery are not considered to be the way for our children.
I digress. What of the book? I think that any book which references 1984, in search of lost time and 2001 a space odyssey is always going to challenge your mind! Here we see our story from 3 angles: Ushikawa, Tengo and Aomame. I am almost certain that parts of the trilogy are non-linear as well but I now need to read books 1 and 2 again. This would not entirely surprise me given the books I mentioned above and that fact that this book is set in a (not parallel) universe where time is obviously a little different.
In essence ; the cult is drawing closer to the killer of its leader and we see Aomame and Tengo inching closer together. The portentous thunderstorm in book 2 is a backdrop for the most shocking discovery of book 3 and the but which will challenge the reader most of all… Remember Fuka-Eri? Remember what she did with Tengo?
It’s good , very good and beautifully written.