Popcorn, Lord Jim, Extinction

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
Haruki Murakami

Wow. This mix of Jungian shadow worlds and cyber-punk-ish Tokyo has totally blown my mind. I generally don’t like making statements about my “favourite X”, because it usually depends on my mood. I don’t have a favourite movie, I don’t have a favourite TV show, I don’t have a favourite actor, or band, or song, everyone who knows me will know I have a favourite anime, but until now I didn’t have a favourite author or book. Well step up Murakami and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Sorry Neal Stephenson, sorry William Gibson, sorry George R. R. Martin, sorry to the rest of you. Murakami is king.

“I closed my eyes, I felt a ripple run through my mind. The wave went beyond sadness or solitude; it was a great, deep moan that resonated in my bones. It would not subside. I braced myself, elbows against the backrest of the park bench. No one could help me, no more than I could help anyone else.”
Haruki Murakami, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, pp:391 (Alfred Birnbaum translation).

And no, this is not a mood thing. Like Eva, I think I will love this book however I feel.
Also interesting to note is that the anime Haibane Renmei seems to be influenced by Murakami’s work. The End of The World in this book refers to a village in the middle of land surrounded by a high wall (at least on the surface, I’m not going to delve into its deeper meaning here). A lot of the descriptions of the town and the wall seem to respond directly with what is depicted in the anime. Also the protagonist in the book is a newcomer to the town who is different from everyone else and who has no memory of his previous life (just like the Haibane). It’s also interesting to recall back to The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle as that book contains a scene where the protagonist has a revelation while trapped down a well. Calvin, if your still collecting anime DVDs, pick up Haibane Renmei, I think it’s just started being released in Australia.
In short, I love this book.