I have to admit that I bought “Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World: A Novel” for two reasons: first, I have never read a book from a Japanese author, and second because the title sounded completely weird and yet clever.
It was a good bet. Haruki Murakami is everything that I expected Kafka to be: crazy, imaginative and funny. It’s almost like going through one of those dreams where things don’t quite make sense but yet you wanna to keep going. It might not be a book for everyone (my wife is not quite liking it so far) but I loved it. So much so that I went right to another one of his books, “The Elephant Vanishes: Stories”. It is a good collection of short stories but not as good as Hard-Boiled Wonderland. I think I will give the genre a rest for a while.
I also just finished reading Federations, which is a collection of short science fiction stories by several authors. Many I already knew (Scott Card, Alastair Reynolds, Turtledove (which just came out with an alternative history book I am eager to read: Hitler’s War, which passes on a world where Chamberlain does not sign the Munich Agreement) and a few others. Overall the book is very good, and it has made me aware of several new authors that I will give a chance in the near future.