In the review of the novel for The Washington Post, Marie Arana called it "a deeply affecting novel, not only for the dark nooks and crannies it explores, but for the magic that seeps into its characters’ subconsciouses, for the lengths to which they will go to protect or damage one another, for the brilliant characterizations it delivers along the way ... Murakami can herd the troubles of a very large world and still mind a few precious details. He may be taking us deeper and deeper into a fractured modernity and its uneasy inhabitants, but he is ever alert to minds and hearts, to what it is, precisely, that they feel and see, and to humanity’s abiding and indomitable spirit."
Fractured modernity is the paramount theme for our times, and exploring it and the nature of our lives is why Murakami succeeds so well.
"While the predominant value of existentialist thought is commonly acknowledged to be freedom, its primary virtue is authenticity."
Flynn, Thomas (2006). Existentialism - A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press Inc.