Murakami tells the true story behind an act of terrorism that turned an average Monday morning into a national disaster.
In spite of the perpetrators' intentions, the Tokyo gas attack left only twelve people dead, but thousands were injured and many suffered serious after-effects. Murakami interviews the victims to try and establish precisely what happened on the subway that day.
He also interviews members and ex-members of the doomsdays cult responsible, in the hope that they might be able to explain the reason for the attack and how it was that their guru instilled such devotion in his followers.
'Not just an impressive essay in witness literature, but also a unique sounding of the quotidian Japanese mind' Independent