I just finished one of the trippiest books I've ever read- The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, by Hakuri Murakami. The protagonist, Toru Okada, is thirty year old Japanese man living a mundane life, until everything normal begins to unravel. A strange woman calls, the cat disappears, his wife runs away, and at the same time, a number of unusual characters start appearing in his life, from a psychic and her sister to lonely teenage girl to a World War II veteran with a tale to tell. I can't really even begin to describe the story- it's so weird (like a Japanese book version of an arty film from France) and oh so very long, clocking it at a dense 607 pages. Although I did like the book, it took me FOREVER to finish- normally, I'm a pretty fast reader but I really struggled with this one. On the plus side, it's definitely interesting and well-written and I liked the main character as well as some of the side ones, like the stylish mother and son duo who run a secret psychic enterprise. On the down side, occasionally the story veers off on metaphysical tangents about the soul, past lives, and whatnot, and I found these stretches tedious and would have enjoyed the book at lot more if it were just a touch more straightforward. It did redeem itself a bit with the ending, which did come up with an explanation for a lot of the trippy spiritual mystery stuff.
And now for something even weirder that The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle:
This music video by a band called Hot Chip. I've never heard of the band before but I saw the video and could not get it out of my head, it's so weird! I can't decide if it's brilliant and hilarious or just fucked up. Watch for yourself and let me know what you think.