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1Q84: Books 1, 2 and 3 [Paperback]

Haruki Murakami
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 April 2012

The year is 1984. Aomame sits in a taxi on the expressway in Tokyo.

Her work is not the kind which can be discussed in public but she is in a hurry to carry out an assignment and, with the traffic at a stand-still, the driver proposes a solution. She agrees, but as a result of her actions starts to feel increasingly detached from the real world. She has been on a top-secret mission, and her next job will lead her to encounter the apparently superhuman founder of a religious cult.

Meanwhile, Tengo is leading a nondescript life but wishes to become a writer. He inadvertently becomes involved in a strange affair surrounding a literary prize to which a mysterious seventeen-year-old girl has submitted her remarkable first novel. It seems to be based on her own experiences and moves readers in unusual ways. Can her story really be true?

Aomame and Tengo's stories influence one another, at times by accident and at times intentionally, as the two come closer and closer to intertwining. As 1Q84 accelerates towards its conclusion, both are pursued by persons and forces they do not know and cannot understand. As they begin to decipher more about the strange world into which they have slipped, so they sense their destinies converging. What they cannot know is whether they will find one another before they are themselves found.

1Q84 is a magnificent and fully-imagined work of fiction - a thriller, a love-story and a mind-bending ode to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is a world from which the reader emerges stunned and altered.

Product details

  • Paperback: 944 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Secker (5 April 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1846556694
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846556692
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.2 x 5.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 192,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949. Following the publication of his first novel in Japanese in 1979, he sold the jazz bar he ran with his wife and became a full-time writer. It was with the publication of Norwegian Wood - which has to date sold more than 4 million copies in Japan alone - that the author was truly catapulted into the limelight. Known for his surrealistic world of mysterious (and often disappearing) women, cats, earlobes, wells, Western culture, music and quirky first-person narratives, he is now Japan's best-known novelist abroad.

Product Description


"Critics have variously likened him to Raymond Carver, Raymond Chandler, Arthur C. Clarke, Don DeLillo, Philip K. Dick, Bret Easton Ellis and Thomas Pynchon - a roster so ill assorted as to suggest Murakami is in fact an original" (New York Times)

Book Description

A mesmerising, epic, utterly involving masterpiece from Haruki Murakami

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, with a few small reservations 6 Feb 2012
By zombielover TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio Download
Firstly, can I point out that this is the first of Murakami's works that I have read. I purchased the Audible book through my subscription when this came out in a recommended list, and liked the look of the story. Part way through, I came on here and looked at some of the existing reviews and apparently this is not a great introduction to Murakami's depth and style. It is frequently recommended that "newbies" try Kafka On The Shore. I still found 1Q84 satisfying, and will definitely move on to other works. But if you're finding it a slog, try the recommended alternative.


There seems to be mixed to poor opinion of the narration in this from Allison Hiroto, who portays the significant role of Aomame. A lot find that she is too quiet or meek. I am of the opinion that the quiet, calm, measured and precise nature of her voice fits in perfectly with the way the character Aomame is portrayed. She is rarely flustered and always exudes a calm exterior. The narration by Hiroto lends itself to this perfectly, as does the gravelly Mark Boyett for the quasimodo-esque investigator Ushikawa.


1Q84 is a long, carefully crafted masterpiece of a novel. It is delicate and unique, much like the characters it portrays. The depth of detail is sometimes off-putting, and I can imagine that, were I not forced to hear each word in the unabridged audio edition of this, I would have ended up skimming a lot of it. Do not. There is beauty in the detail.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is the moon out tonight? 15 July 2012
Aomame and Tengo grow apart as they grow up. The story is about whether they will ever grow together; or whether something(s) will keep that from happening. We spend the book with them as they grow old enough to cause an ending to actually take place; or, perhaps, another beginning.

With a limited number of characters (just enough to work, not so many to get in the way), the author weaves his own brand of magic into their lives. Nor surprisingly, the readers are allowed to join in on the magic. We get to sense what they do. We get to believe what they do. Or not believe it at all. Regardless, we get to go on a lengthy journey of thoughts and dreams.

Are their events ones that remind us of the world of a little more than a quarter of a century ago? Are their events ones that remind us of today? Yes. And, yes. But, which events are they and do they apply to us in any way similar to how they affected Aomame and Tengo? It will probably take longer to answer that for myself than it took me to read the book.

I don't always understand Haruke Murakami. But, it may be that he wants us to take from each of his books that which we want. Though I always hope for more insight into what he means, I keep reading them because they always give my brain a wonderful sort of exercise. This was well worth the effort.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's Murakami for sure... 14 May 2012
The title of this review sums up the book, really: 1Q84 is a characteristically Murakami book. The two central characters, Aomame and Tengo, are just normal people, the former a fitness instructor (with a dark secret); the latter a maths teacher. They find themselves embroiled in a series of obscure events that gradually bring them closer together and closer to an ending (which is satisfactory, thankfully). The prose is meticulously detailed and often overwhelmingly beautiful: this is the only reason Murakami gets away with writing a 925 page novel where next-to-nothing happens.

And that is essentially the problem with 1Q84. His meandering non-stories can survive in shorter novels and short stories (Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman, a collection thereof, is a fantastic entry point if you've never read Murakami before) but they are stretched too thin here. If you are a die hard Murakami fan then you probably own 1Q84 already but if you're not, I'd suggest Kafka On The Shore, After Dark or Norwegian Wood as better places to start with this supremely talented author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicate story despite the size 4 Aug 2013
By Ripple TOP 100 REVIEWER
The "1Q84" trilogy is, without doubt, an impressive book. In many ways, the trilogy almost has to be read in this way as the three component books make little sense on their own. The first book in the series in particular is almost completely baffling if taken in isolation. It does, though, demand a degree of dedication, and if the prospect of a 1300 page novel in which not a huge amount happens in terms of plot and in which there is a significant level of repetition leaves you cold, then this might not be the best entry point into the wonderful world of Haruki Murakami. As often with Murakami though, it's possible to read this book at a number of levels. On the surface it's a love story set in a slightly fantastical setting with a little bit of crime thrown in. At a deeper level, he explores the this lines between imagination and reality, life and death and what you might call yin and yang. It's a novel where balance and vacuums play a big part. It seems counter-intuitive to call a book of this magnitude "delicate", but that's just how the story appears.

The first two books consist of alternating chapters on the lives of two people, fitness instructor Aomame and maths teacher and struggling novelist Tengo, who we subsequently learn have more of a connection than we at first think. Incidentally, apparently Aomame translates as "green beans" in Japanese which is one of the few areas in which the English translation of this story misses out on a beautiful quality of the original. In fact, it's worth noting that the third book has a different translator to the first two, but you would never notice.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable journey
This is a huge volume and took me many months of reading a couple of chapters three or four times a week to get through. Read more
Published 9 days ago by misschord
5.0 out of 5 stars Its a BIG book
Still reading it - as all 3 come as one book - BIG won't know fully until I get to the end.
Published 21 days ago by Pammat
2.0 out of 5 stars Words fail me....but, unfortunately, not Murakami
Many years ago, I stumbled upon a second-hand copy of "Wild Sheep Chase" and was intrigued by one of the critical blurbs: "Kafka meets Woody Allen". Read more
Published 28 days ago by Adam K.
5.0 out of 5 stars A world inside a world....
Unlike many of Murakami's books, 1Q84 offers a round, classical treatment of the story it presents. In this sense, this piece of work differs from previous ones in that it bestows... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alexei V. Lopez Enriquez
5.0 out of 5 stars Jehovah's Witness in Wonderland
This is very special. I even dreamt about it. It utterly possessed me. It is wondrous, magical and compelling. I don't know where to start... Read more
Published 2 months ago by M. D. Holley
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading!
I recommend this book to anyone who likes fiction, the story is great and the writing is so fluent and vivid, it's a piece of art!
Published 3 months ago by Sonc
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, lyrical and affecting... but loooong.
At its heart 1Q84 is a love story of disaffection and belonging. Aomame and Tengo, outsiders both, find themselves in a strange other world of two moons and psychotic 'Little... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sera69
3.0 out of 5 stars Has success gone to Haruki's head?
Having read several of Murakami's previous works, I was looking forward to tackling his supposed "magnum opus". Read more
Published 4 months ago by Robert Francis
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
1Q84 is an amazing book by Murakami. The plot was very original and unexpected. Once you've picked it up, you won't be able to put it down. Murakami's writing style is artful. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Thu Phuong
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectactular novel!
It will definitely not be a chore to get through all 1000+ pages. This book is fantastic! Gripping from the first few pages. Read more
Published 4 months ago by J. Mathewson
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