Murakami is one of my favorite authors, even though he writes in Japanese. I’ve read him now through three different translators (Philip Gabriel is the latest, Alfred Birnbaum was my favorite), and his unique writing style always provides enjoyment for me. Most of his books deal with the lost — that is, in every book, characters are missing something, and ultimately go off looking for it. While this wasn’t my favorite book of his (I think The Wind-up Bird Chronicle is his best, and A Wild Sheep Chase is the most fun), I think it’s his best in a while — it’s a return to big, weighty books (his last couple have been very short). Like most all of his books, there’s a lot there, and a lot to think about, and not so many answers. A good novel for me — but not a masterpiece like Wind-up.