Whew! 1157 pages to this bad boy! The version I had was broken into three smaller paperbacks. I took a break in between each paperback, because that is a LOT to digest.
If the sheer volume of this book doesn’t scare you away, then be prepared for some weirdness. The story follows two main characters, Tengo and Aomame. They shared a moment in childhood, and then never saw each other again, but both still think of the other. Seems like a regular romance, right? Well, it’s not that simple. Aomame enters an alternate universe by trying to take a shortcut when her cab is met with highway traffic. She’s on her way to kill someone, because that’s what she does.
Still with me?
Tengo has been caught up in a fraud scheme wherein he ghostwrites a novel thought up by 17 year old Erika Fukado, also known as Fuka-Eri. This novel wins an amateur writing contest prize and becomes a bestseller. Seems like a fairly harmless deception, except the novel, “Air Chrysalis,” depicts this alternate world where there are two moons, these entities called “Little People,” and these things they weave called air chrysalises. It just so happens that this world is real, and it’s the world Aomame has unwittingly entered. Other than a few anomalies – the biggest being the whole “two moon” thing – the world seems unchanged.
Through alternating chapters, Aomame’s story and Tengo’s story start to come closer together. In the end this is a love story, though all the weirdness.
It’s not for everyone. That’s for certain. I’m not sure if was even for me. I stubbornly got through the whole thing, but there were several times I wanted to just say “screw it, this biz is too out-there for my liking.” Maybe you will feel that way, too. On the other hand, maybe you will find the writing (translated from the Japanese) to be beautiful and poetic. I don’t know you so I can’t say for sure. If this review has not daunted you from checking this out, then perhaps you’re one of the brave ones to give it a try.
By the way, this was one of my TBR Pile Reading Challenge Books! Check this one off the list!
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