I only tried to read this book because my friend told me there was a transgender character, and I am desperate for trans representation. But not even Oshima can save this book. Oshima is a horrible, horrible, horrible example of a transgender man. Murakami has no idea how to write transgender people and Oshima's monologue to those women about being trans was utterly disgusting and dysphoria-inducing and downright transphobic.
I should have dropped it as soon as Murakami described a girl's breasts in detail while simultaneously calling her child-like. What the fuck is that pedoshit.
Then the sex scene between her and the 15 year old hero was entirely unnecessary. Also this girl is someone the protagonist repeatedly relates to his long lost sister, what the fuck. But it's Murakami, unnecessary sex scenes with bonus pedophile/incest tones are par for the course.
Also the protagonist did not feel like a 15 year old at all.
Then I found out that eventually the story would involve the 15 year old having sex with a 50 year old woman repeatedly, a woman who is likely his long lost mother. Also scenes of cat torture were going to come out. No thanks.
It doesn't help that whoever translated this made some awful translation decisions. The prose is so bland and lifeless, and I imagine the characters had much more distinct voices in the original Japanese. Also the translator made the pointless decision to change all references to yen to USD. Who the fuck does that? Awful.