Review of the book “The End of the World and a Ruthless Wonderland” by Haruki Murakami


“The End of the World and a Ruthless Wonderland”, by Haruki Murakami, one of the most recognized and acclaimed Japanese writers of today. It is a novel that combines two parallel stories that alternate in each chapter: one set in a dystopian future where a computer scientist must decipher a secret code to avoid a global threat, and another in a fantastic world where a man without a shadow must search their identity and their destiny. Both plots intertwine in a surprising way and reveal Murakami’s recurring themes: loneliness, love, memory, music, violence and the search for meaning.

The book seemed to me to be a masterpiece of contemporary literature, which skillfully mixes realism and fantasy, suspense and reflection, humor and melancholy. Murakami creates complex and fascinating characters, who face extraordinary situations and moral dilemmas. His style is fluid and elegant, full of cultural and literary references, which invite the reader to immerse themselves in his imaginary universe. The book also raises philosophical questions about human nature, freedom, destiny, and the end of the world.

“The End of the World and a Ruthless Wonderland” is a novel by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, published in 1985 and awarded the Tanizaki Prize in the same year. The work presents two parallel stories that take place in different but evocative settings: one in a mysterious walled city called “the end of the world” and the other in a futuristic and cold Tokyo, called “wonderland.”

The first story follows an anonymous narrator who, upon arriving at the walled city, is deprived of his shadow and, little by little, also of his memories. He is forced to read dreams between inhabitants with strange mental deficiencies and unicorns whose fur turns golden in winter. This narrative was one of the inspirations for Yoshitoshi Abe’s “Haibane Renmei” anime series.

The second story has as its protagonist a computer scientist with refined tastes who works in a shady government institution, facing another no less sinister organization in a war for control of information. His services are required by a disturbing scientist who experiments with the manipulation of consciousness and mind, and lives isolated in the network of a futuristic city.

Both stories intertwine and progress in parallel, revealing surprising connections between them as the reader progresses through the plot. Murakami combines elements of cyberpunk, crime novel, fantasy story and moral reflection in a world of desolation, tenderness and ambiguous identities.

The novel is an example of Murakami’s signature style, which flirts with magical realism and creates beautiful, perfect, ethereal but present images. His characters are introverted, even shy, and face bizarre and mysterious situations. The work marks the end of a cycle in the author’s production, laying the foundations for what will be seen in his subsequent works.

“The End of the World and a Ruthless Wonderland” is a fascinating and complete novel that surprises and captivates the reader. If you are a fan of Murakami or you like fantasy and science fiction literature, this work is a must on your reading list.

I recommend this book to all lovers of good literature, who want to enjoy an immersive and stimulating read. It is a novel that leaves no one indifferent, that provokes emotions and reflections, that surprises and captivates. It is a work that deserves to be read and reread, to appreciate all its nuances and details. It is, in short, a book that makes you think and feel.


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