my fave of his was hardboiled wonderland or maybe norwegian wood both still left me ambivalent his writing cleanses the palate but like a glass of water, does not leave too much of an impression I liked Norwegian Wood a lot, too. I didn't read Wonderland yet. The thing his, all his books leave you with a similar feeling - some kind of sad emotion inside, but it's fleeting/hollow. I think that is the point. Many of his books follow a theme of life being unpredictable and uncontrollable, of love being lost inexplicably, and of dull heartache. Murakami never leaves you with a clear message about life, only a dull emotion that you can't really place. For you, that emotion is "shrugging". For me, well, I just know it's something bittersweet and unspoken that most authors do not reach in their writing, so I keep reading his books for another hit.