Human existence in all its strangeness

Human existence in all its strangeness
The new novel by Haruki Murakami was always going to be a hit. Having sold a million copies in a single week in Murakami’s native Japan, it will undoubtedly achieve comparable success in the West, regardless of its merits. The author’s phenomenal popularity has been peaking since the publication of his last novel, the expansive IQ84. No Japanese author since Yukio Mishima has attained such global cachet – but while Mishima’s fame owed much to his fascistic militarism and dramatic suicide, Murakami is a far more sedate, even insipid figure.

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