This book starts prosaically enough, with a young married couple whose marriage seems to be crumbling through neglect. And their cat has gone missing.
It turns into a long, strange journey involving astral prostitutes, mystic revelations at the bottom of a well, Japanese war crimes in Manchuria, and an evil politician capable of psychic defilement. Toru Okada's quest to find his wife Kumiko brings him into contact with all sorts of interesting characters and bizarre encounters, and not all of them make sense. This book was a head-trip, falling into the category of "magical realism" where things happen that aren't quite possible (and it's not always clear that they're real) and yet the entire story purportedly takes place in the real world.
It's an interesting trip, and I was largely satisfied with the resolution. However, I felt like Murakami threw too many strange elements into this story for no other reason than to ramp up the weirdness, and there were a lot of threads left dangling. You can forget about a sequel -- Murakami doesn't do sequels -- so you're left to come to your own conclusions about the significance of unexplained events and the odd characters whose fates are left unresolved.
Recommended if you're up for something a little different, but Murakami is an acquired taste.