In spite of the economic restlessness the recession caused, people did not want to be buoyed by their literature. Instead, they wanted to read about fictional societies doing things that were even worse than their own society was doing to them.
One can see the scaffold upon which Murakami would build his illustrious career upon. Most of the pleasure from reading his early novels stems from witnessing a deft writer learn his craft. They will delight devout Murakami fans, but it’s unlikely to give them new companions.