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1Q84: Books 1 and 2 [Hardcover]

Haruki Murakami
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
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Book Description

18 Oct 2011

Haruki Murakami is an international phenomenon. When Books One and Two of his latest masterpiece, 1Q84, were published in Japan, a million copies were sold in one month, and the critical acclaim that ensued was reported all over the globe. Readers were transfixed by the mesmerising story of Aomame and Tengo and the strange parallel universe they inhabit. Then, one year later, to the surprise and delight of his readers, Murakami published an unexpected Book Three, bringing the story to a close.

In order to reflect the experience of 1Q84's first readers, Harvill Secker is publishing Books One and Two in one beautifully designed volume and Book Three in a separate edition. A long-awaited treat for his fans, 1Q84 is also a thrilling introduction to the unique world of Murakami's imagination. This hypnotically addictive novel is a work of startling originality and, as the title suggests, a mind-bending ode to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. (The number 9 in Japanese is pronounced like the letter 'Q').

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?

Both Aomame and Tengo notice that the world has grown strange; both realise that they are indispensable to each other. While their stories influence one another, at times by accident and at times intentionally, the two come closer and closer to intertwining.


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1Q84: Books 1 and 2 + Norwegian Wood
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Secker (18 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846554071
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846554070
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 24.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,676 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

Review

"[Murakami's] towering new novel, his magnum opus, a work on a par with Don DeLillo's Underworld or Roberto Bolano's 2666."--Stephen Amidon, Sunday Times

"It is a work of maddening brilliance and gripping originality, deceptively casual in style, but vibrating with wit, intellect and ambition."--Richard Lloyd Parry, The Times

"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

"[1Q84] may become a mandatory read for anyone trying to get to grips with contemporary Japanese culture... [It is Murakami's] magnum opus."--Japan Times

Book Description

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER FROM ONE OF 'THE WORLD'S GREATEST LIVING NOVELISTS' Guardian

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
91 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 20 Oct 2011
By M. Dowden HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Once again Murakami has produced something that is truly magical. I would have to agree with the previous reviewer, if you have never read Murakami before, then this is probably not the best place to start, due to its length and surrealism, if you are not familiar with his work you may end up feeling rather perplexed.

It is 1984, and the place is Japan, but things are going to suddenly start altering. With two main characters, Aomame and Tengo, the tale is told in alternating chapters between the two. At first you have a mystery, in that what relation do these two characters actually bear to each other? Both characters seem to be living completely different lives, and have very little in common, but as you progress everything is slowly revealed, drawing you further in to the story. Aomame feels that she is in a different reality, or parallel universe, but is she? Could she just be more real than others? With Aomame as a gym instructor and assassin, and Tengo as a teacher and writer you are completely mesmerised by the two. Taking in such things as religious cults, and some history of what happened in Japan in the last century, this could be seen in some ways as an allergory of the Japanese people as a nation.

There is just so much to take in here, especially with the appearance of the 'Little People' that you are held in thrall. Tengo has taken part in a literary fraud with a publisher and the original writer of a story, and is hoping not to be revealed. Aomame is sent on a mission to kill 'The Leader', the head of a cult.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Started well and then became childish. 7 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book because of its content is not for children, but the plot and SF content is childish and unbelievable. This is a pity as the writing is good and the descriptions vivid. Having finished book 2 (book 1 was much better) with difficulty, hoping that the ending might be believable, I had no interest whatsoever in reading book 3.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Middling 19 Feb 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
God, it goes on and on. I felt strongly that it needs some heavy editing - there's too much constant explication and summarising what the plot is; there are too many longeurs. Unlike so many of his other books that just draw you gently and surprisingly into a surreal world leaving you looking at the world differently; this one pushes you into it - the device of literally climbing a ladder into a new world isnt subtle as I wanted, plus you know it's going to happen. I expected better.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody Should Visit 1Q84 26 Mar 2012
By Col
Format:Hardcover
From the outset I want to nail my colours firmly to the mast - I absolutely loved this book, loved everything about it and have now ordered Book Three and can't wait for it to arrive so I can live a little longer in the world of 1Q84.

The book follows the lives of the two main characters Tengo and Aomame in a series of alternating chapters focused on one or other of them in turn. Tengo is an aspiring novelist and writer, who eventually takes on the task of "re-writing" a book for subsequent submission for a literary prize. Throughout the book this is a great mechanism for Murakami to give a fantastic insight into the writing process and beyond. Aomame on the other hand is a kind of avenging assassin, wreaking revenge in the most subtle, understated but super-efficient way, with her victims essentially men who are abusers. In the early stages of the novel there seems no connection between the two in any way but of course you expect that connection and it comes. But it is brilliantly done. As you read it you are fed tiny pieces of the connections between the two but it's teased out gently, page after page, a bit like a spider spinning the most delicately interwoven web which is only revealed to you by the morning dew gathering on its threads - and even then it's revealed to you one dew drop at a time as it were.

The two main characters and their intertwining lives are supplemented by the story of Fuka-Eri, a 17 year-old girl who writes the most fantastic novel in terms of narrative but in terms of style and structure it's all over the place. It needs re-written and that's where Tengo comes in and eventually Aomame becomes linked into it too.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Great Disappointment 10 Feb 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Murakami's great skill has been to combine the daily routine of a protagonist's life with a surreal events & happenings, whilst making the surreal as everyday as preparing a meal. In 19Q4 Murakami fails to display his usual prowess and instead fills far too many pages with too few happenings. Indeed he translators would have been doing both author and reader a great favour by producing an abridged version so that what little interest the reader has gained in the characters can be rewarded without slogging through repetitive and often clichéd chapters.Even the surrealism & otherworldly links aren't as interesting or involving as previous offerings, an unlike previous novels here we get a little handholding explanation.

This is the first Murakami book I wouldn't recommend reading. I finished it, but only just and certainly won't be reading book 3.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read
Weird but great read
Published 3 days ago by denise taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent !
My first read of Murakami was in '07 when a friend recomended The Wind up Bird Chronicle and since then I've mnanaged to find time for several of Haruki's books and I'd like to... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
this book will hook you from the very beginning. it will change the way you look at things
Published 5 days ago by Ms. I. Quesada
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
amazing, transports you to another world. long road though
Published 16 days ago by ALBERT MAY
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Bought as a present.
Published 17 days ago by Karen Butler
3.0 out of 5 stars an acquired taste
1Q84: Books 1 and 2 [Kindle Edition]

I did start reading this as some light relief from the second volume of Proust, but that was clearly a mistake. Read more
Published 20 days ago by tallmanbaby
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing special
First part amazing but thereafter nothing special
Published 1 month ago by Rune Frederiksen
4.0 out of 5 stars Dreamlike
Only the second book by Murakami I have read. I found this both compelling and strangely dreamlike. Well worth the read.
Published 1 month ago by Birminghamboris
4.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing alternate reality
It has always seemed to be to be a frightening concept to me, to be trapped in a parallel reality, similar to our own, but not quite the same. Read more
Published 1 month ago by H M Reynolds
4.0 out of 5 stars Paper moon paean to true love.
Aomame and Tengo held hands for a brief few moments in an empty classroom when they were ten years old and spent the next twenty years of their lives unconsciously searching for... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sue Kichenside
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