I try to read a bit in Japanese every day.. and what better to read than some Murakami??
These took me a LONG time to get through... I can remember back in... when was it, 2009??? When they first came out, being really excited, but planning on waiting until the pocket sized version came out. For those who don't know, Japanese paperback books are normally about 10 x 15 cm big, and are the perfect size to fit in a bag... so I wanted that version, so I wouldn't have to cart around huge hardbacks around with me. Normally, the smaller version comes out about a year after the hardcover, but with this, it was so popular that it only came out last year!!! Crazy. So, I'd been waiting for about 3 years to read them, haha.
As soon as the first paperback book (books 1, 2 and 3 were split up into 2 books each, so 6 books in all) came out, I bought it, and then proceeded to read it VERY VERY slowly. I'm not entirely sure why, but even though I was enjoying it, I didn't really have much motivation to read...
Recently though, I've been making sure that every time I can sit down on one of my commute trains (I get 2 different trains and sometimes a bus every day, fun!), I would spend the whole time reading instead of messing about on my phone.
So I finally finished the 4th book, the second half of book 2! (This is getting a bit confusing)... And, I don't have book 3 yet! What was I thinking? I should have had it ready! I forgot that it's around halfway when Murakami books tend to get addictive, and the last half of this was making me want to "accidentally" forget to get off at the right stop and carry on reading instead. Hehe.
Of course, I haven't finished the whole book yet, but I recommend it so far! If, however, you've tried reading Murakami and didn't like it in the past, you're not going to find anything new here. It's still the same kind of characters (although one of them is female, yay!), doing the same kind of things, and then something weird happens to them... But I really like that! :D
For anybody who has read this in English - how is Aomame's name dealt with in English? Because in Japanese there's a fair bit about how strange a name it is, and I was just wondering how that would have been translated. Because obviously, to somebody who doesn't know a lot about Japan or hasn't lived here, the strangeness of the name doesn't come across at all.
In terms of Japanese, this wasn't too difficult to read, but I would in no way recommend this to people who aren't used to reading in Japanese, simply because of the length.
...I must go and buy book 3 now! (paperback books 5 and 6. Heh) Although I really shouldn't as I have a whole shelf full of Japanese books that I haven't read yet. Hmm hmm hmmm...