This is a very hard review to write. I really wanted to like Murakami and this book was a lengthy intro.
I found it difficult to get into the overall flow; there were so many pieces of the story that I thought would later be relevant but were placed into the narrative in a way that I would characterize as red herrings. I get that red herrings can be interesting to the reader, but too many make my head spin. Cults, multiple moons, strange nurses, kidnappings,dyslexia, clones, there's lots going on.
At the heart of the novel is a love story which was satisfying, but surrounding it were many surreal aspects leaving me scratching my head. i.e. What in the world happened with the "Little People"???
Aomame is the central character and she is likable as a heroine but deadly. Her heart is consumed by Tengo, a long-sought-after first love. In their quest for one another a lot of bizarre things happen including a shifting of realities.
Dare I say that I thought that a lot of the narrative could have been cut out - at times, it felt like the story was dragging and the reader was getting too many details. One month in Murakami's world is a very long time.
However, I did like Murakami's creativity; he did a great job with the "Town of Cats". And he had Aomame read Proust which was certainly appropriate...isn't he also the king of words?
Maybe my mind was suffering from information overload, hence my less than enthusiastic liking for the novel. It was a struggle to keep all of the characters and situations in order. Despite all of that, I will certainly read more Murakami; who can resist contemporary Japanese writing?