The book, not the song.
I just finished reading it. The english translation was superb. I can say this even though I cannot compare it to the original japanese version. It carries the careful unravelling of the protagonist’s emotions and feelings and in the process the complete picture of his personality the same way Murakami might have wanted it done. The story shows an uncanny resonance with the ripples of my own life, though, if I were to compare both fact by fact, I would find nothing in common. That’s storytelling for you.
The book made me think about suicide in the 1960s. Specifically, the suicide rate in Japan in the post-war era. There seems to have been a tremendous effort to shift social habits, culture and the likes at a national level in Japan after the war. Now, it seems, they have succeeded. But at what cost? There must have been huge perturbations during the 60s and the 70s in Japan, a total shift of the cultural consciousness of the Japanese.
I wonder if there’s research, or books on the subject, or have I pulled something out of thin air?