This is a nostalgic fantasy romance that takes place in an 80s Japan with a touch of mystery that compellingly dives into cults, communes, and organized religion. The two love interests are Aomame, a self defense instructor and assassin, and Tengo, a cram school teacher of math and novelist.
Though this book is a brick, what kept me coming back was the exquisite and subtle weirdness in the prose that cater to his obsessions, like his obsession with ears, cats, jazz, namedropping, and the shapes of people's heads. Moreover, the hints of "Probably," and "For now," ending chapters, the sense of humor, it felt very Japanese in the similes it used, many of which were related to Japanese food. The characters were also fascinating, and their dialogue was not everyday, these remarkable characters discuss Proust and time.
Though I loved this book, there were two glaring faults; the last few pages detailed what was for me an unsatisfying ending to a superb novel, and there are greater stories that I wish Murakami had elaborated upon within the book. People who enjoy dwelling within various characters' minds like flies on the walls of their brains will appreciate this novel. I whole-heartedly recommend this book, it is well worth the time.
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Note: Only available in adult collection