Murakami’s “Underground” has definitely nothing to do with the author’s other works of fiction. Nevertheless I mostly reached out for the book because of Murakami – I didn’t end up being completely disappointed but it also wasn’t a groundbreaking book in my opinion, therefore the 3 out of 5 stars rating.
What I read out a bit from the previous reviews, was the fact that the interviews of the victims of the sarin gas attack in the underground were extremely repetitive, which I absolutely agree with. There were a few stories that really stood out, touched you, gave you somewhat of a deeper meaning to the incident, so it would’ve been more of an enjoyable read if they would have been shortened down.
It’s only towards the middle of the book with the commentary of the author about one of the main reasons for putting this story in writing, where everything is put more into context & makes more sense why so many people’s accounts were included. Murakami’s goal was to get to know the real Japanese spirit, the people & culture closer, which I absolutely see happening while he was conducting these multiple dozens of interviews. Here I would have wished that it would have included as an introduction in the very beginning of the book.
My favourite part of the book was the 2nd one – where interviews with former or current members of the Aum sect/religion are conducted. It really let’s you see this community from a different light, understand the reasoning behind why people would become followers & through which ways our society is pushing people to such extremes.
My recommendation of this book would mostly go out to the ones who’d like to get an insight into the teachings of such “religious-like” communities, not the ones longing for some classical fluid & enchanting Murakami-like style of writing 😉