There’s an unsatisfying disconnect between the resolution and my response to it, I think rooted in an essential cultural incompatibility.
This can be viewed as an existentialist work. That is, it wrestles with questions over the absurdity and meaninglessness of life (and the trappings of life with which we surround ourselves).
Yet the endings was never entirely hopeless. I wouldn’t call it hopeful either, but it ended on a feeling of facing an uncertain future. That leaves open the possibility that it will be a good future.
Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World ends with the protagonist making a crucial decision. Was it the right decision? The question remains unanswered within the text. There’s a lack of resolution, which is a very existentialist approach.
The lack of an resolution — or meaning — is reflective of life itself. But that is not to say that life — or the book — is *pointless.* The journey, the suffering, the quest, the adventure, the loved ones, the food and drink, the art and music, these are things to be held on to, there is an intrinsic value to their existence, even if they don’t add up to anything in the end.
Also about halfway through I realized that no characters had any names, and it didn’t bother me.