I needed time to get used to my new self. What kind of a being was this self of mine? How did it function? What did it feel—and how? I had to grasp each of these things through experience, to memorize and stockpile them. Do you see what I’m saying? Virtually everything inside me had spilled out and been lost. At the same time that I was entirely new, I was almost entirely empty. I had to fill in that blank, little by little. One by one, with my own hands, I had to make this thing I called ‘I’—or, rather, make the things that constituted me.
I lived like an empty shell. Living like an empty shell is not really living, no matter how many years it may go on. The heart and flesh of an empty shell give birth to nothing more than the life of an empty shell.
"I love Murakami. Some of his works are a little less genius than his others, but he’s brilliant overall. I enjoyed The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, but really, his masterpiece has got to be Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. It’s just as surreal and textured as his other works, but it’s the most focused and cohesive. If you like Wind-up Bird, I highly recommend you read Hard-Boiled."