Just a bit of advice… don’t read Haruki Murakami if you’re extremely tired or just about to fall asleep. Otherwise, you’ll end up having some pretty strange dreams (one of mine involved a government conspiracy involving exploding cherry tomatoes, among other things). I finally started reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle after hearing so many heap praise upon praise on it, and though I’m still pretty early on in it (Okada just had his first encounter with Creta Kano), I’ve found myself very intrigued.

Murakami’s writing style is slow and lethargic, enough to lull you and draw you in, and yet there’s this vague anxiety and eeriness that lies just beyond the edge of the page. Even though very little has happened yet, something ominous seems to be brewing just between the lines, though I can’t quite put my finger on it.

That, and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle seems to have one of my favorite plots, if the description on the back is at all accurate, that is: a seemingly normal individual somehow falls through the cracks of the “real” world, or after a strange encounter, their world somehow unravels, bringing with it all manner of strange events and stranger characters. (I first discovered my love of this plot through the writings of Neil Gaiman.)

Hopefully, I’ll actually be able to finish this one. I have a disturbing habit of picking up a book, reading it fiercely for several days/weeks until I’m halfway through, upon which I inexplicably set it down. Thomas Merton’s Mystics and Zen Masters, Raymond Feist’s Talons of the Silver Hawk, Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Peter F. Hamilton’s The Reality Dysfunction, and Shusaku Endo’s Silence (to name but a few) have all suffered this fate. Sigh… perhaps I should keep a running log on here of all my reading, so I can have you folks keep me accountable or something.

Oh, and 3Hive was right… RF would make a good Murakami soundtrack.