The cast of absurd characters (juxtaposed with the brooding and passive narrator) is fun, but the real star of the book is Murakami's prose (translated by Jay Rubin). The everyday blends seamlessly with the bizarre. Even the mundane is unmistakably sinister. And fairly regularly there is a metaphor or an aside that completely throws you for a loop.
I won't pretend to be able to comment coherently about the plot or what it means. (I'm not sure anyone can. But I certainly can't.) This story is like a dream committed to paper, one of those books that is about the ride rather than the conclusion. A fun read (and I usually stay far away from contemporary fiction). Recommended.