Murakami's books can seem both superficial and faux surreal. Characters blip in and out. Most of them seeming to have nothing to do with the story he tells. I finally found the secret is to enjoy the ride while he connects the dots. In this case it takes you right up till the end of the chronicle.There's a lot of symbolism here. The most powerful being a horrific and far too detailed scene that's continued on in one form or another throughout the rest of the book. The well being the other major symbol. I was very unsettled by a good deal of it while some was totally lost on me.If you want an easy read I suggest you stop right here because you aren't going to get one. You'll also find some of the characters, including Toro Okada, infuriating cyphers. You may also find yourself totally falling for some of them. May comes to mind. I'm pretty damned sure that's not a wig shop she's been working in but you grow to care for this odd and very damaged girl. Sometimes I don't just want the meaning of a book handed to me and want to delve deeper on my own. This definitely scratched that itch.