Having read a couple of other Murakamis I felt I knew what to expect here – morose quasi–philosophical musings on love, loss, death and loneliness – and it doesn't fail to deliver. The setting is different – Watanabe is a student in late 60s Tokyo and there are student riots and dorm–based craziness in the background – but the feel of the novel is pretty similar to the Murakami norm.
Having said that it is a not uninteresting and reasonably entertaining read but, as one critic has put it (OK, my hyper–critical friend, Steve) absolutely nothing of any consequence happens. To some (including Steve) this is something of a minus but I can't say I was that disappointed by the lack of real action.
However, I do have to say it is not a patch on 'Kafka on the Shore'.