Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami is a parallel narrative set in two worlds: End of the World and the contemporary world. This is not surprising as Murakami often sets his stories in parallel worlds and alternate universes.
The narrator has arrived at the End of the World to read old dreams. His shadow realizes that “There’s something wrong with this place. People can’t live without their shadows, and shadows can’t live without people. Yet they’re splitting us apart” (63). The Gatekeeper on the End of the World, “Nobody leaves here. … If you endure, everything will be fine. No worry, no suffering. It all disappears. Forget about the shadow. This is the End of the World. This is where the world ends. Nowhere further to go” (109). The food in the Town is different than elsewhere, as the Librarian describes to the narrator, “We sue only a few basic ingredients. What resembles meat is not. What resembles eggs is not. What resembles coffee only resembles coffee. Everything is made in the image of something” (224).