Easily one of my favorite Murakami novels. There is a lot here for his fans to sink their teeth into. One of the advantages of the novel being so long is that the atmospheric hauntingly lonely neverland, that you travel to in most Murakami books, sustains for so long here. This book crept into my dreams and popped its head up regularly in my daily routines. On a subtle level, I kept expecting to see the world of the book everywhere I looked. One of the main characters is a novelist, so there is some rare instances of Murakami actually writing about writing and reading that is a real treat for fans who have been craving such material for so long. Overall there is more of a typical (as much as you can stretch the meaning of that word to relate to Murakami) hero journey than you find in most of his books, which really helps keep a clean satisfying arc to a long novel. Its interesting the choice of setting the book in 1984. There is the obvious Orwell reference. There is also the convenient fact that cell phones and internet searches didnt exist then, both of which would have completely changed the nature of the characters options and the plot. As the book was winding down, however, I started to think about another possible connection. In the book there is a novel that is published that causes quite a stir in the world of the book. I was wondering whether there was an indirect notion on Murakami's part that publishing and the role of fiction in the world has changed enough since then that a work of fiction couldn't have the same impact today. If so, in typical Murakami fashion, this is posed as a question puposely unanswered.