there's a lot to this book. i wish i could have slowed it down and read it slower, because i think i probably missed quite a bit. murakami has a lot to say and i'm looking forward to reading more of him in the future....here's my more in depth review after a few days of thinking about it. as far as the writing goes, i wonder about the translation, and how good it is. because it was kind of awkward in parts. i know that jay rubin is one of the main translators of murakami's work so reading more of his stuff might not shed any light on that issue. but the book itself...the uninventive gimmick of the chapters being titled with the time as we move through the hours of the night that the story takes place in actually didn't bother me, but i wasn't impressed with the book overall. it feels like an outline for a novel that he's working on, or maybe a screenplay. like he can't decide which he's writing, and he's still working on which storylines he's going to go with and expand on, and how he's going to develop the characters. there are a number of stories that are unresolved at the end, which also doesn't bother me. or i should say that it doesn't bother me when it makes sense. but he opens the door to a few things that either need to be closed, or not brought up in the first place. everything about the book feels unfinished to me, and i don't like that.that said, a couple of nice passages:"After a long, steady look at this jumbled street scene, she holds her breath for a moment and turns her eyes once again toward her book. She reaches for her coffee cup. Puffed no more than two or three times, her cigarette turns into a perfectly formed column of ash in the ashtray."a man describing his detachment watching courtroom criminal cases:"'They live in a different world, they think different thoughts, and their actions are nothing like mine. Between the world they live in and the world I live in there's this thick, high wall. At least, that's how I saw it at first. I mean, there's no way I'm gonna commit those vicious crimes. I'm a pacifist, a good-natured guy, I've never laid a hand on anybody since I was a kid. Which is why I was able to view a trial from on high as a total spectator.'Takahashi raises his face and looks at Mari. Then he chooses his words carefully.'As I sat in court, though, and listened to the testimonies of the witnesses and the speeches of the prosecutors and the arguments of the defense attorneys and the statements of the defendants, I became a lot less sure of myself. In other words, I started seeing it like this: that there really was no such things as a wall separating their world from mine. Or if there was such a wall, it was probably a flimsy one made of papier-mache. The second I leaned on it, I'd probably fall right through and end up on the other side. Or maybe it's that the other side has already managed to sneak its way inside of us, and we just haven't noticed.'"