366 pages

English language

Published Jan. 5, 2001 by Vintage International.

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (1 review)

In this haunting work of journalistic investigation, Haruki Murakami tells the story of the horrific terrorist attack on Japanese soil that shook the entire world.

On a clear spring day in 1995, five members of a religious cult unleashed poison gas on the Tokyo subway system. In attempt to discover why, Haruki Murakmi talks to the people who lived through the catastrophe, and in so doing lays bare the Japanese psyche. As he discerns the fundamental issues that led to the attack, Murakami paints a clear vision of an event that could occur anytime, anywhere.

1 edition

Interesting insights into the victims' perspectives and Aum Shinrikyo

4 stars

This book is two sets of interviews with a bit of analysis and explanation sandwiched in between, followed by a very brief essay that tries to draw conclusions based on the Aum Shinrikyo interviews.

What I appreciated most about the book was how well Murakami captured the individual perspectives of people who were involved. It makes the situation real and immediate and lets the reader get into the heads of both the victims and members of Aum Shinrikyo.

I really empathized with the feelings of the victims who spoke about how people were dropping to the ground and foaming at the mouth while people kept passing by and going on with their day as if they didn't see what was happening. Also, with the people who felt that if they didn't make it to work or weren't noticed by someone they worked with in the street, then they would not …


  • Oumu Shinrikyō (Religious organization)
  • Terrorism -- Japan