Personally, I think fans of Murakami won't enjoy this book because of its apologetic nature. The first essay--the one about neuroscience--is simply an attempt at a novel way of seeing Murakami, by applying a theory of neuroscience to an author who is fast becoming famous worldwide. That said, the essay fails to deliver, because there really isn't anything remarkable about it; I don't understand why one needs to find a new theory/topic and apply it to Murakami, when there are just so many things to discuss about him. It could have worked, but I suppose the writer (also the main lecturer of the conference on Murakami) was in a hurry to write his paper, or was simply out to impress. The other pieces were also unremarkable. For a group of supposedly enthusiastic Murakami 'groupies', their papers were bland. The same thing was repeated: Murakami appeals to this generation of readers because he writes about the loneliness that this generation feels, set against a rapidly-changing urban environment. I also seemed to get the fact that Murakami is becoming famous because of his Western references. I know the writers were against this, but somehow this was what came out in their essays. references to Coke and Western musicians propelled Murakami to international stardom. This makes us see the West as the universal factor which unites everyone.I also seemed to get the feel that the writers were blaming the English translators for being slow; other countries have published other books by Murakami, whereas the English translators haven't. Maybe the underlying theme of this book is the politics of translation; now THAT would have been an interesting study.