Our Own Wonderland

I finished Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World few week ago. The story was kinda slow at the beginning, I spent 3 weeks or so, to read three pages just to leave it for three days, came back to it when I had nothing better to do. And just couldn’t put it down easily after all the questions started to make sense.

I feel like destroying something beautiful when I read the last paragraph. Angry but, satisfied. Just how I feel about most of Murakami’s ending, really.


I thought I couldn’t like his works even more, but there I was, in one sunny morning, felt this intense urge to go to the library just to borrow another one. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World gave me more reason to feel that way and I see it clearer than before.

There are a lot of magic in this book.


After reading him for a while, I sometimes wonder why does his writings so addictive and I can’t seem to get enough. I thought it is because the way he wrote all the small things, those details. And another time I thought it was because I have this thing about fiction books; if it is fiction, it needs to be so imaginative, they shouldn’t be ordinary because we know it’s fiction. The world with two moons, or a man talking to cats, or girl disappears, damn!

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World gave me more reason.

Sure, in 1Q84 I should have known about the whole different reality thing. But when I read it, I didn’t see it that way because I was so lulled by the connection between Tengo and Aomame. I see the whole story as two people find each other by holding on to this strong connection inside them. For me, 1Q84 is a story about a soulmate, a beautiful love story.

My favorite part is when Aomame and Tengo wonder if other people see the green moon. But Haruki Murakami never answers that question. I am so upset yet mesmerized by that. Like Tengo and Aomame, I will never know, whether anyone else sees that second moon in the sky or not.

And only after Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, that part, that unanswered question, or all questions I have from all his books I had read, started to answer my biggest question: why his books are so addictive?

It is that unanswered question, the things he left unexplained.


You see, sometimes, I feel this unsatisfied feeling about the world we live in because we can only see what’s on the surface and there are so much more beyond that we miss or can’t see. This book talks about those magic we are failed to see, at least that’s how I see it. I want to see those invisible forces because I am desperately want to believe it exists. Alternate universe maybe, or just some kind of different reality.

Perhaps, that unsatisfied feeling I have found a home in his fictions.

“Were the stars out when I left the house last evening? All I could remember was the couple in the Skyline listening to Duran Duran. Stars? Who remembers stars? Come to think of it, had I even looked up at the sky recently? Had the stars been wiped out of the sky three months ago, I wouldn’t have known.”


There are so much in this world, but because all we can sense are the things that real enough for us, all the unknown and all the things we missed suddenly don’t exist. But we know they do. But we will never sure about it. It’s so much more beyond our control, and though it’s exhausting to ask all the questions, there is always beauty in it. Because the answer is not just a simple yes or no. It could be somewhere between or so much more than that.

Then, there is this:

“Sunlight traveled a long distance to reach this planet; an infinitesimal portion of that energy was enough to warm my eyelids. I was moved. That something as insignificant as an eyelid had its place in the workings of the universe, that the cosmic order did not overlook this momentary fact.”

The thing he does with those little things. See? There is no possible way for me not to fall in love, obviously.


Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is my favorite so far, replaced After Dark. The story tells about there are so much we can find under the surface. What we see and experience, our mind treasured more than that. I love how it talks about the power of our mind and the mystery it holds, how there are so much in it that we can’t touch or control though it’s ours. We think we know who we are, but how much we know exactly?

Despite the wondrous of this universe, we are all just ordinary as anything in it. We only seem more because we can feel things, hold on to things we believe in, and asking questions. There are always something more we never truly see.

All pictures: Pinterest


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