Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World


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Hyperkinetic and relentlessly inventive, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is Haruki Murakami’s deep dive into the very nature of consciousness.

Across two parallel narratives, Murakami draws readers into a mind-bending universe in which Lauren Bacall, Bob Dylan, a split-brained data processor, a deranged scientist, his shockingly undemure granddaughter, and various thugs, librarians, and subterranean monsters collide to dazzling effect. What emerges is a novel that is at once hilariously funny and a deeply serious meditation on the nature and uses of the mind.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780679743460
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/02/1993
Series: Vintage International Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 38,901
Product dimensions: 5.22(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

Haruki Murakami is a best-selling Japanese writer. His works of fiction and non-fiction have garnered critical acclaim and numerous awards, including the Franz Kafka Prize, the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and the Jerusalem Prize, among others. Murakami's fiction is humorous and surreal, focusing on themes of alienation and loneliness. He is considered an important figure in postmodern literature. The Guardian praised Murakami as "among the world's greatest living novelists" for his works and achievements. Murakami is the author of 1Q84, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles, Men Without Women and many more.


Tokyo, Japan

Date of Birth:

January 12, 1949

Place of Birth:

Kyoto, Japan


Waseda University, 1973

Read an Excerpt


Excerpted from "Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World"
by .
Copyright © 1993 Haruki Murakami.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 115 reviews.
UgandaJim More than 1 year ago
Although Windup Bird Chronicles is better known, I enjoyed this book much more. There are parallel stories here, told by story-tellers with different voices (or is it one story-teller?). Uncertainty here is well worth the mental effort to work things out. If you're confused at first, press on! This is a quick read, and ultimately, a satisfying one. I would recommend any of Murakami's books. I understand there is another to be released quite soon. I can hardly wait!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters were well developed, mysterious and comical at times. I loved how the imagery in both story lines mimicked each other. Only thing that held me back from 5/5 was the somewhat predictable revelation of why the 2 worlds exist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book reads like an episode of Lost, at once intelectually fascinating as well as deeply moving. I feel like i need another read throgh to fully appreciate and untangle-if such a thing is even possible-the two overlapping stoies. Despite the underlyig complexity, this book is the most accesible Murakami i have read (with After Dark and The Wind Up Bird Chronicle being the othrr books i have read so far).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wierd and compelling
Fruitswirl More than 1 year ago
I chose this book for a school project because I had been wanting to read something by Haruki Murakami. It is quite amazing! Murakami must have a very unique imagination. I loved his writing style and the characters that he created. I would definetely recommend this book, however it is not for the faint of heart. To say it plainly, it is a little odd, weird, crazy at times. But I like that. :) Anyways, I look forward to reading more of his books as he is a very talented writer.
mbad More than 1 year ago
This book is a quick read that keeps the reader interested throughout the book. There are two stories taking place (alternating chapters) which merge together at the end. I loved the characters in this book. They are all unique, interesting, and important. Good book
Wordzmind More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading HARD-BOILED WONDERLAND AND THE END OF THE WORLD. This story was very inventive. The dream library is definatly a place I would like to check out; although I would not want my eyes changed. I found the protagonist to be a person I could relate to. He was a man caught up in a world that he had no control of. And like all puppets, he wanted to know the future and where he fitted into it. His 'present' being what it was that created that thirst. I highly recommend this book.
Ohmega More than 1 year ago
Haruki Murakami is easily one of my favorite authors, and this particular book is, in my eyes, one of his best works. Two tales run beside each other throughout the book, seemingly unrelated until a climactic finale. It is a realistic fiction story with a fantastic, paranormal twist. It is a book that you should read more than once if you intend to catch all of the little details along the way. If you're looking for somethooo
CamiTheNinja More than 1 year ago
This book is amazing, the characters the plot, the parallelism between both stories. Yet the writing style made me read it incorrectly at first being so engrossed by the first chapter I read every other chapter to finish "Hard Boiled Wonderland" then went back and read "End of the World". But afterwards I read both stories side by side and it shows so many more levels of the story.
Kimmiee More than 1 year ago
In Murakami's mysterious world of "Calcutecs" and "Symeotics" one man finds himself stuck in the middle of an information war. What he doesn't know or understand is that the end of the world is near and he is the key.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i've read most of murakami's works and this one is the most seamless, perfectly packaged novel from beggining to end. i felt that HBW and ETW was a bit different from all of Murakami's other novels. Murakami generally writes about metaphysical dimensions, and abstract/ out of reach 'worlds'. This novel was the only one where that world was more clearly defined and explained in detail. It was like seeing it in color, as compared to the dreamlike and greyish settings visited in other novels. this isnt a bad thing at all. it gives the story a more definition. furthermore, HBW and ETW one of murakami's more action packed stories. great great book. highly recommended
Guest More than 1 year ago
The best way to describe this novel is marvelous insanity. At first nothing seems to fit together, but as the story progresses the two simultaneous plots meet seamlessly. I enjoyed every letter of it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I went insane trying to figure out how the two different stories were connected. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to read something interesting and different.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is fantastic. It is tied for first place with 'Kafka on the Shore' for favorite Murakami book of mine. It was ambitious and imaginative. Murakami tells two stories at once, of two different worlds, that he ties wonderfully together at the end, AND the beginning. It doesn't make sense yet, read it and it will.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having read many of Murakami's books, I have to say that Hard Boiled is one of the best, topped only by the 'Wind Up Bird'. I picked it up after a hiatus of reading due to exams and as a Murakami fix before the new book hit stores, and I found it truly amazing. I cannot wait for 'Kafka' and hope that it will be able to match the writing and plot of 'Hard Boiled'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is structurally and thematically more complex than anything else he's written to date(except maybe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle). HBW+ETW is enjoyable on multiple levels, though I found that I did not fully appreciate the conclusion until the third read (probably a failure on my part, though I've heard that he rewrote it several times before deciding on the current conclusion). Jean Baudrillard is a theorist whose work I found makes for an interesting and appropriate companion to this title, but if you're not into lit. theory the genius of this book is that it's still accessible. Danny Boy, paperclips, unicorns, and genius . . .
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read almost all of Murakami's work. This book keeps you in suspence. As you are reading it, you look forward to the turning point when the two stories will merge. Great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
To Read Is To Know.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have never in my life read a book so very interesting. Murakami manages to balance a constant cynical humor with a story that hooks the reader and doesn't let them go, all the way to the end. This book overflows with imaginative imagery that comes to life with the flip of each page. This is a great book to get your feet wet with murakami. I recommend following this up with 'wild sheep chase'....and then 'dance dance dance'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Haruki Murakami, one of Japan's most popular writers and author of A wild Sheep Chase, pits man against mind in a tale of two parallel worlds, one devoid of 'self', the other trapped by its demands. As the two stories develop they gradually reveal a degree of interdependence perhaps unexpected. The narrator is a middle-aged man, post family and divorced, led on a journey of self-actualization. Due to the sole success of an experimental program installed in his brain that can safeguard data, he finds himself a pawn in a complex power play for the key to this invaluable technology. Life as he knows it takes on new meanings as he comes to terms with an End of the World scenario. Murakami creates an accessible and entertaining vehicle to pose the question of one's influence over our own memories, desires, and our external world of 'reality'. The superficial symbols of pop-culture, treks through dark underground tunnels, and age-old myths the likes of unicorns and walled cities often invoke parallels of a political rather than psychological nature impeding on the story's ability to create a truly deep exploration of the quest for self. On the whole, it is a desirable addition to any science fiction collection.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Murakami's Hard Boiled Wonderland is the best book that I have ever read.The multiple themes blend together with such wit.Murakami's writing skill is on a higher level.The book leaves you in suspense 24-7.I was always looking forward to seeing what was going to happen next in the book.It is hard to describe the feeling that the book gives you.All I can say is buy the book,I promise you will not be disapointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the first novel by Haruki Murakami that I read and it started my love of his writing. It was a great introduction for a sci-fi fan.
Amsa1959 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reading this amazing novel gave me the same feeling as when I was a child and reading the Narnia chronicles or some other fantasy books. Although in this world you are taking part of a secret world, and much more in this case. I really enjoyed reading it.
PghDragonMan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is another unclassifiable novel from literary surrealist, Haruki Murakami. As with a previous surrealistic experience from this author, Kafka on the Shore, you just need to go with it and let the book unfold in your mind. The closest comparison I can make is this story is a literary equivalent of a Miyazaki movie, complete with a precocious teen girl, an eccentric inventor grandfather and a young (but older than the teen girl) man in an adventure he does not understand and is beyond his control.The usual Murakami touches are there as well. The main characters have deep philosophic discussions on the nature of self and how the world is perceived, using the context of the story to make a greater statement about the real world. Murakami blurs the lines between the characters reality and imagined worlds, again much like Kafka on the Shore, but this is not a repetition of the same plot as before, it is a unique story.For the reader, the challenge comes in connecting the two, at first, seemingly disparate story lines. Astute readers should be able to make the connection, but that does not diminish the enjoyment of the novel, but rather enhances it. It will bring you more into the world being created.Very deep, sometimes dark and always surreal, this will have a strong appeal to Haruki Murakami fans. Free range thinkers should also enjoy this but unless you can think around corners, you may be baffled by this version of Wonderland. My thinking is very free range, so I have no problem with five stars for this offering.
Skyehighmileage on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First Murakami I've read although my teenagers are very keen. I took around 50 pages to warm to him and get into the world he'd created and ended up thoroughly enjoying the book, finding it moving, comic, imaginative and original. Looks like future Murakamis coming into stock are going to do a detour via my reading pile before going into the shop!