1Q84 by Haruki Murakami books 1 and 2
I saw a rave review of this book somewhere and thought I'd give it a go. I did not realise there's a 3rd book and they are not standalone stories. This one should be a lesson to me to read more Amazon reviews before committing to a novel.
At the beginning I thought I would love it. Two interleaved stories, of Aomane who's a gym instructor and assassin of men who've abused their wives; and Tengo, a maths teacher and writer. Tengo is re-writing a book by a teenage girl set in some strange fantasy world, where there are two moons in the sky, and 'little people' controlling our destinies. Aomane begins to notice that things seem a little different to usual, and then spots there are suddenly two moons in the sky. But which is the real world?
Right from the beginning everything seems a bit surreal, and this feeling increases as the novel progresses. It's not the weirdness that I disliked. It's everything else. None of the characters were likeable. They all seemed sociopathic - not one of them is having any kind of normal relationship with another person. There's lots of mentions and hints of sex with underage girls. The book plods along and is highly repetitive - the author seems not to trust that we'll remember what happened two chapters ago.
I did finish it, eventually, though the jury's out on whether I'll buy book 3 to find out the end of the story. (1 & 2 come as a package for Kindle). Not my cup of tea at all.