I will have to say that Haruki Murakami's epic novel, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, isn't for everyone. It's imposing, prosaic and, at times, convoluted. It's a mind-bending reading experience that is somewhat akin to staggering through a labyrinth and not knowing whether you want to leave or travel deeper into the mystery. It is also a novel that made me want to come home and immediately delve into its pages, rather than relax in front of television, although at times I wasn't sure if I was swimming along the surface of the story, or drowning.... for the duration of the read I felt like I knew the characters intimately, though they were unlike anyone I've ever met and I was aware of many universal truths being unveiled before my eyes, though I wasn't sure what to make of them. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is challenging, but worth it: a complete contradiction back upon itself and well worth the time and mental energy needed to understand its secrets.