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Meganovel, bewitching, magical journey to a parallel world, weirdly gripping page turner, fascinating, multilayered narrative, mesmerizing, pulls you into mysteries‘ is some of the acclaim for this trilogy. And it’s all true.

AND it’s a story about intensely lonely people who could be seen as not successful in our Western society. When you would meet them in the bar, they don’t stand out (but you might have sex with them). You probably pity them because they don’t have friends, no interesting job, no money, just themselves and their imagination. And still, I haven’t read such an intriguing book before.

Just a few examples:

Strange logic that feels like being true: ‘If you can’t understand it without an explanation, you can’t understand it with an explanation’

Beautiful sentences: ‘The man paused, and chose his world carefully, as if separating out varieties of beans from a pile.’

And mysterious ones: ‘The moons were listening carefully. So were the little people. And this very room she was in. She couldn’t let it out of her heart, not one centimeter. She had to surround her heart with a thick wall so nothing could escape.’

And dialogues that make you think:

“Your father must have really liked his job. Going around collecting NHK subscription fees.”

“I don’t think it’s a question of liking or disliking it,” Tengo said.

“Then what?”

“It was the one thing he was best at.”

“Hmm, I see,” Kumi said. She pondered this. “But that might very well be the best way to live your life.”

“Maybe so,” Tengo said as he looked out of the pine windbreak. It might really be so.

“What’s the one thing you can do best?”

“I don’t know,” Tengo said, looking straight at her. “I honestly have no idea.”


And this connects directly to the dialogue that I had with Joseph Jaworski this afternoon: Key questions to him are: ‘Who am I?’ and ‘What is my Work?’




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