cover image Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Haruki Murakami, read by Adam Sims and Ian Porter, Naxos Audio, unabridged, 11 CDs, 14 hrs., $40 ISBN 978-962-634-338-8

Murakami's two stories—which alternate, chapter by chapter—are told by two narrators, who split duties here. Ian Porter is the baritone, thoughtful and deliberative; Adam Sims is lighter spirited, flightier, and more amused by the bizarre comedy of Murakami's puzzle box. Both readers are well chosen, expertly picking their way across the minefield of this intoxicating, perplexing story. And their balancing act mimics the book's alternation of tones, styles, and stories. The recording is studded by occasional studio sound effects that are hardly necessary, but do manage to cleverly amplify the woozy, trippy disorientation of the tale. A Vintage paperback. (May)