This is the first new Murakami book since I started reading Murakami. --About six months after I finished this book, and I've just lowered the rating. Why, why have I done this? 1Q84 was a Murakami marathon, and by the time I finally finished it, I think I was experiencing a runner's high. Now I've started to notice all the associated aches and pains.Like, why was this marathon so long? It was certainly a lot longer than 26 miles, and even then, I am pretty sure I ran a bunch of those miles twice. Murakami is famous as a seat-of-the-pants writer. He just sits down and starts writing and eventually the story tells him when to stop, which is only sometimes when he has reached the ending. In some ways, this narrative is one of his more linear and comprehensible. Lots of weird things happen, but the plot more or less makes sense even on a first reading, unlike, say, Kafka on the Shore, which makes no sense at all unless you make huge, huge allowances like "nothing made sense because dream logic!" and even then, try getting two people to agree on what it all means.So I think I was happy that 1) I finished and 2) I basically understood the plot. And, I guess, 3) Murakami's writing is, as usual, alluring, hypnotic, hyper-detailed and evocative. He writes very flat prose (in translation, at least), and never met a simile he didn't take home to bed and make sweet, passionate love to, resulting in yet more hundreds of tiny simile babies to populate his pages, but he's as easy and enjoyable to read as ever. But while this book has its brilliant bits (the town of cats, the image of the air chrysalis, and a few tense assassinations), it is also very repetitive. Very very repetitive. Repeating the same things, over and over, not just saying them once but again and again. Usually with the exact same imagery. Which is fine. Except when your novel is 1,000 pages. The repetition maybe starts to look a little sloppy then. Especially when a large section just repeats a bunch of stuff you already know from a slightly different point of view, and then that part just kind of fizzles out, and you're all, "Ok, there was some nice writing there, an interesting character, but... eh?" Which is a lot of the book: Eh? Narrative dead ends. Lots of dull sex scenes. A romance at its core that kind of makes no sense. Eh.Mostly, the book just left me feeling tired of the author. I didn't even have the energy for a review, let alone the kind of creative noodling that I have enjoyed putting together in lieu of reviews of some of his other books. Granted, I have read nearly all said books in less than three years, but my previous pace didn't bother me at all. This one was exhausting, and it reads like it exhausted Murakami too. I honestly don't know if he has anything left to say. Or say to me, anyway.