High fives to me! Book 1 is done! It ends in an anti-climatic feeling cliffhanger that seems so Murakami to me. Lots of questions for Books 2 and 3 to answer. And yes, the moon issue comes up again before the end of Book 1, so you know that’s going to be a key translation point.
Overall, my initial impression stands: needs editing. The constant repetition of details eased up towards the end of the book, like maybe Murakami started trusting that his readers had functioning memories, but it was still over the top. I read a one-line review of Book 1 online somewhere: “Book 2 is better than Book 1.” So maybe I will be spared the reminders and descriptions of brand-name goods that plague Book 1. But I have a sneaking suspicion that at least the first few chapters of Book 2 will be filled with even more of this sort of thing, since it was released some months after Book 1 and given that Murakami doesn’t trust the reader to remember things from two pages earlier, it seems unlikely that he will give us the benefit of the doubt for things we read a few months ago.
I still can’t figure out what is going on with the two stories. They are touching each other now, but only in the most tangential way and of course, that tangent is the moon(s). Despite my old lady grumbling, the stories and how they are bumping into each other is enough to propel me into the next five hundred pages of this monster, muttering all the while about editing. I just cannot shut up about that.
Update: I just read on the publisher’s site that Books 1 and 2 were released at the same time. Why did I think they were released far apart? My brain does not have an answer to that. But this newly acquired fact maybe gives my brain hope for less verbosity in Book 2 after all.