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Starts well. Well written. Decent plot device to begin with, but that soon wears thin. Too introspective. The author is trying (and failing) too hard to write an epic romance. Instead, it just gets tiresome. Increasingly, I found that I did not care what happened to the "beautiful people" who are the prospective couple, to the point where I got bored and gave up half way through - something I very seldom do. I could not even summon up sufficient interest to skip to the end to see what happened to the couple. This is a 100 page novella unfortunately, and unsuccessfully, strung out to 300 pages.
This book reads like a script to a television drama--a lot of dialog, but not much in the way of understanding what the characters think (if they do think). Lots of world travel and a touch of contemporary politics, I can see how this can be made into a screenplay that's ready for Netflix. As a novel? I'm not so sure. The prose is downright nauseating. For example, "The chandelier over the table, which she had apparently owned for some time, shone on every charming detail of her face...". Or, "...the light of love reached into every corner of his life, often surprising him and bringing a smile to his face." This reads like a book aimed at children or adolescents. Some of this might be the fault of the translator (using the tired phrase "reach out"), but I actually pity the translator who was stuck with translating this stuff. Aside from the prose, the story is trite, especially the ending.
I read approx. 40% of the book but stopped when the secretary/assistant sent a message from his phone ..... I thought life’s too short to waste time on such a bad story line! Until that point I had thought it was very well written.
This is the second book by this author I read. I was very exited by the first book: it was a very interesting, deep story, where everybody was good. The story was not driven by evil people, as most of times happens in Western literature. This time, the author took this principle too far, in my view. The characters are not just good, but crazy good. Not only they are happy that Iraq refugees are all coming to Europe (why not Japan, I wonder?) they practically devote themselves to save one of them. The only evil people in their world are Americans, who commit all the atrocities everywhere. Hating Americans is a part of being a good person. The story is about these good characters succumbing to mysterious illnesses, keeping it a secret from each other. I read to the middle of the book. Can not figure out, why I need to continue.
The one thing you actually care about in the book leaves you hanging. I'm all for not having to tie things up in a neat bow by the end, but this was just a flat let down. It was a quick read though, so at least I didn't spend TOO much time just to be disappointed.
I got this recommendation because I read a lot of Murakami books. FYI... This is nothing whatsoever like Murakami.
The premise of this book, of two people falling in love but always in separate worlds with misunderstandings leading to unfulfilled lives, is hard enough to bear as a reader. You keep waiting for resolution and that resolution never comes. But then the ending was abrupt and unfinished and really left me frustrated with the time I had invested in hope that the story would redeem itself at some point. The syntax did not flow well but that was likely because it had been translated into English. The work is lofty on intellectual reference but very short of emotional depth and intuition.
It really isn't fair to rate an entire book because I got to 58% & quit. I was SO wordy! Every single thought of each character. I just had better things to do beside languish through the detailed thoughts. . The author obviously Spent a lot of time on this book. It just wasn't for me.