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1Q84: Books 1, 2 and 3 Paperback – 5 Apr 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 944 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Secker (5 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846556694
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846556692
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 4.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 285,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"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

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ripple TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By southcoastreviewer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Feb. 2012
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.

AUDIBLE-RELEVANT REVIEW CONTENT:

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.

GENERAL PLOT AND CHARACTERISATION:

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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marie on 28 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback
I was enjoying this trilogy so much that I eked out the reading experience as much as possible. I left a fairly long gap in between books two and three simply because I didn't want it to end, which goes to show just how much I liked it.

The novel finds us in Tokyo in 1984, where Aomame is living a double life. To the outside world she is a solitary but pleasant gym instructor, but in her spare time she works as an assassin, killing men who have been violent towards women. A bizarre encounter with a taxi driver serves as a catalyst for a sequence of unusual events that lead her to feel that something about the world around her has intrinsically changed, and this feeling intensifies when she notices a new, second moon in the sky.

Meanwhile, across town, Tengo is an aspiring author who gets an offer he can't refuse: to re-write a debut novel by the peculiar teenage Fuka-Eri in order to give it enough polish that it might become a literary bestseller. As he gets drawn further into Fuka-Eri's surreal yet captivating fictional environment, he too begins to think that the real world he is living in is not quite as it was before. Unbeknown to each other, Aomame and Tengo's lives become linked as they both get more and more involved in the curious world of 1Q84.

Much of this book represents business as usual for Murakami and his brand of magical realism. There is something enchanting about the way in which he takes ordinary, unremarkable characters and transplants them into extraordinary settings. But I especially loved the eccentric supporting cast he created here - the sinister gangsters Buzzcut & Ponytail, repulsive private investigator Ushikawa, beautiful Fuka-Eri who manages to be enigmatic and socially awkward in equal measures.
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