I will be at that midnight release dressed as a Calcutec for sure.

Thanks for the Murakami recommendation a while ago, by the way. Spot on. I'm obsessed.
I take the impatient route: I'm getting a copy from Kinokuniya and having my Japanese friends read to me. To us, Harry Potter style always means getting a copy from the originating country or most convenient commonwealth with original text.
I saw this all over Tokyo last April. It was pure torture considering my kanji knowledge is terrible.
I read the first volume in "the original." My kanji's good but not great, and I found it easy to read--but definitely not superficial. This is definitely the most layered novel Murakami has ever written.
You're NOT alone. Can't wait.
I have no idea what this is. The link tells me nothing. This post tells me nothing. I'm a lit-nerd. Anyone want to give an ignorant person like me a brief synopsis or clue as to why I should care about this?
SLOG should host a party for the debut, preferably at the bottom of a deserted well somewhere in the city.
@6 You should have your internet privileges revoked for not checking with Wikipedia before whining:
You want whining? Why does the English version arrive a full year after German, and other languages?
@8 Hey sven, great advice! Let me just click on that Wikipedia link you provided...

(I'll be nice and say that there are spoilers ahead.)

Hmmm... So it seems that Aomame works as part of an enigmatic organization for which she commits carefully selected murders. She poses as a hotel attendant in order to assassinate a hotel guest. She performs the murder with a tool that leaves almost no trace on its victim, leading investigators to conclude that he died a natural death. Then she has several bizarre experiences, including a string of memories that do not line up with the archives of major newspapers. Upon reading these articles, she concludes that she must be living in an alternate reality.

Tengo is asked to rewrite an awkwardly-written but otherwise promising manuscript that had been entered in a literary contest. Tengo then meets the original writer, who goes by the name Fukaeri. She doesn't care about the manuscript and give her permission. But then it turns out that Fukaeri, who is dyslexic, neither wrote the manuscript on her own nor submitted it to the contest herself.

Tengo learns that Fukaeri's parents were members of a commune that Fukaeri thought of as Utopia, but her sensei, Ebisuno, thinks of it as a place where people were turned into unthinking robots, ala George Orwell's 1984. Fukaeri's father formed another commune, but internal clashes led to a radical faction that fought with the police.

Fukaeri appeared on Ebisuno's door after these clashes and he became her guardian. The story that was written was actually narrated to his daughter. The story is about a girl's life in a commune, where she met a group of dwarfs, whom Fukaeri refers to as "Little People."

And so on... Thanks for that link, sven. Now I know a bunch of major plot points. I also learned that the author didn't want to publicize his books because he thought that knowing about the plot in advance would ruin their novelty and spoil the experience for the readers.

Looks like I get to hang on to my internet privileges for a little longer. I'll be right behind you, sven, waiting in line at that midnight release.

I stand by my whining. Seriously Paul, if you want to encourage people to get excited about this book release, throw in a morsel of information.
This is one of three books for 2011 I'm super-excited about (the others being the latest efforts of Malinda Lo and China Miéville). If there is a midnight launch party, I'll be there at half 'til.
Wow, Wicked Virgin, what is your problem? Christ, it's a blog post about a book which came out over a year ago originally, and has been much lauded since its publication, including here on slog, multiple times. (I am a dyed-in-the-wool stoner, and if I can remember it, there's no excuse for you not to)
...But since you seem to be the only person who's confused, I'd say it's not Paul who has the problem.
Wooo! Time to find my huge red vinyl hat!

Please wait...

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