The teenage friendship group is a standard enough experience of life, but if its unspoken rules demand suppression of sexuality and commitment to the home town location, then it becomes a monster threatening those who try to escape with a pathological inability to form true relationships and an obsession with death which might lead to suicide or murder. A haunting story which will pull you in and keep you there til the end.
At least from the outside, Tsukuru Tazaki's life was going well, with no particular problems to speak of. He'd graduated from a well-known engineering school, found a job in a railway company, working as a white-collar professional. His reputation in the company was sound, and his boss trusted him. Financially he had no worries. When his father dies, Tsukuru had inherited a substantial sum of money and the one-bedrooom condo in a convenient location near the center of Tokyo. He had no loans. He hardly drank and didn't smoke, and had no expensive hobbies. He spent very little money. It wasn't that he was especially trying to economise or live an austere life, but he just couldn't think of ways to spend money. He had no need for a car, and got by with a limited wardrobe. He bought books and CDs occasionally, but that didn't amount to much. He preferred cooking his own meals to eating out, and even washed his own sheets and ironed them.