A great experience.
More than reading a novel, I feel like I've lived the life of another, like when you wake up from a dream in which you played the part of a fearless hero, doing actions you never could have done.
Toru Okada is thirty years old and leads an ordinary life with his wife Kumiko. However, a strange phone call marks the beginning of a series of unusual events that entirely change the existence of the young protagonist. Everyday life and the ordinary meet with the inexplicable. The plot loses importance, fogged by dense clouds of mystery, from which only the bizarre characters of Haruki Murakami emerge. We are in a dream, we perceive it as readers and the protagonist of the novel perceives it too:
«I listened to the evening news on the radio for the first time in ages, but nothing special had been happening in the world. Some teenagers had been killed in an accident on the expressway when the driver of their car had failed in his attempt to pass another car and crashed into a wall. The branch manager and staff of a major bank were under police investigation in connection with an illegal loan they had made. A thirty-six-year-old housewife from Machida had been beaten to death with a hammer by a young man on the street. But these were all events from some other, distant world. The only thing happening in my world was the rain falling in the yard.»
The dream state of Toru Okada will remind many readers the surrealism of David Lynch, the American director who loves to communicate through his films with scenes that disturb for their visual impact, rather than for the linearity of well understandable plots.
Side note: with this novel Murakami won the "Yomiuri", a Japanese literary prize, conferred to him by the Nobel Prize Kenzaburō Ōe, previously one of his most ardent critics. What satisfaction