In this book he explores alot of hotel imagery. Hotels are places full of mystery and tales. Hundreds of closed doors. Empty hallways. Murakami describes hotel patrons as "shadows creeping along the walls of the corridors". The old Dolphin Hotel was a doomed place described as "A freak accident of nature that stranded some organism up the wrong path without a way back. No one to blame, no one to save it."
The mystery is the best part of this book. Like H.P. Lovecraft, the less that is revealed the deeper the fear and deeper the intrigue. A great momentum is kept up for awhile, where the more clues are the revealed the less you know but you still care and want to find out more. Like when X-Files was good, or the first 2 seasons of Lost.
"I am left wondering how the ancient Egyptians filled their days, what little pleasures they enjoyed as they whiled their weary way to death. Learning to swim, wrapping mummies. And the sum accomplishment of that you call a civilization" For some reason I think this except is especially thought provoking when considering he wrote this from a Japanese perspective. The title character later speculates if there were trendy Egyptians.
I can really relate to this thought "I don't know what i want. And, if thats the case, as my ex-wife said, I'd only hurt people." An ex of mine told me something really similar and it really got my thinking for a long time about my actions.
Murakami writes himself into the book as the 13 year old girl's father. Its a strange and daring choice, and I'm unsure how I feel about it. He writes himself in a really self-depricating way and i don't think thats a very interesting point to make. Though I am always trying to be self-depricating as humor as well as a way to reveal in an acceptable way characteristics I don't like abot myself.
The storyline that sticks the most for me is the main characters (a 40 or older Male) friendship with a 13 year-old girl. Its really strange how the author creates an almost sexual tension between them. Thier relationship reminds me of alot of my past romantic relationships. I was always the more uptight, "sensible" one. I refer to it as more "white". I definately admire a more laid-back attitude. I admire those who can enjoy themselves and at least hide their self-consiousness more than me. Be able to stroll and be carefree. I guess I can do that half the time. The other half I'm a spazz. Like the main character. I suppose most people can relate to feeling emotionally trapped in a bottle and being help down by the rules of society. Thats probably why that person is usually the eyes the stories are told through in modern society.