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Another one by Murakami and it has absolutely everything that makes it a Murakami book! If someone hands it over to you to read, without telling you the author, you can easily guess the words are Murakami’s! Provided you are familiar with his style of writing, of course!

Two stories running in parallel, each occupying the alternate chapters in this novel with a very intriguing title! One story is sci-fi where the consciousness of humans can be captured and even tempered with! Narrator has a job of ‘shuffling’ data, visits a professor who lives at a place having underground lakes and ‘Inklings’! It’s a bizarre world, none of the characters have any names, the narrator, the Professor, the chubby girl, the librarian etc. etc!

If you thought the first story is bizarre, you are up for a surprise! There is another world… a town with a huge wall where people enter after cutting off their ‘shadows’ with a knife! Your shadow lives separately, leads a miserable life until he/she dies of cold. Till your shadow lives, you do a job of a dream reader and spend your time reading dreams from unicorn skulls every evening! After that, you lose the sense of belongingness and lead the so-called peaceful life sans hatred, wishes and desires!

This is THE one book which will make you realise there is no limit to get imaginative & creative with words when it comes to authors like Murakami! No wonder, almost every sentence ends with an exclamation mark in this review!

What do these stories have in common? They both emphasize on the power of mind, its beliefs! Both these transcendent stories keep the reader hooked till the end! Are they related? Are the protagonists the same person? You will close the book with unanswered questions but the reader in you will be satisfied after reading a highly creative, passionate piece of writing! I wouldn’t claim it to be the best of Murakami but it’s worth a read, to let you dive and dwell into his world! This one has surely found it’s place on my re-read list, maybe I’ll find some answers then!!

Some quotes from the wonderland:

“two people can sleep in the same bed and still be alone when they close their eyes”

“Everyone may be ordinary, but they’re not normal.”

“Fairness is a concept that holds only in limited situations. Yet we want the concept to extend to everything, in and out of phase. From snails to hardware stores to married life. Maybe no one finds it, or even misses it, but fairness is like love. What is given has nothing to do with what we seek.”

“Life’s no piece of cake, mind you, but the recipe’s my own to fool with.”