This is the surreal tale of a portrait painter who, after his wife leaves him, goes to live in his friend’s father’s country home because the father has been put in full-time care for his dementia. The father happens to be the famous artist, Tomohiko Amada. In the home’s attic, the (unnamed) narrator finds and unwraps an unknown painting. And so begins characteristic Murakami oddness, involving a mysterious wealthy neighbour, an art student, and a shrine’s circular pit. This book is compared to a mash up of “The Great Gatsby”, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, and “The Magic Mountain”. I’ve read only the first two and definitely see their influences. Although I usually love Murakami, I feel this novel needs a good edit: there’s too much repetition, and just too much downtime overall. I feel Murakami’s downtime—the mundane making of meals, doing laundry, etc.—is usually more nuanced and paced.
Gwenamon says: Great in parts, but needs an edit