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1Q84: Books 1 and 2 Hardcover – 18 Oct 2011


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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 5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (192 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,763 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.

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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

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 103 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Oct. 2011
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. Linney on 10 Nov. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book should come with a health warning. Do not start reading this if you have any time commitments - certainly not if you should be studying or have exams pending or something important on at work. I started Book 1 and then kept reading and kept reading ... into Book 2 .......... and have just finished Book 3. It's weird in places and yes it is repetitive as has been remarked in a couple of reviews but it is totally compelling.

It is, however, really one book broken down into three parts. Don't start unless you are prepared to read the full set.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By realslyshady on 3 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback
This review is for books 1, 2 and 3. Slight spoilers.

I finished the 1Q84 trilogy a fortnight ago, and I'm still wondering what to make of it. To be blunt, there are gigantic flaws running throughout all three books. Some ideas, themes and plot points recur over and over again - while others are glossed over or left deliberately, infuriatingly vague. And I could handle the repetition, were it not for such unwieldy prose. Dialogue, monologue and description are all incredibly clunky. I've no way of knowing how much of this is down to the original manuscript, and how much to the translation, but I was dismayed at the change in style compared to other Murakami novels.

Despite these issues, there is still a lot to like in 1Q84. Some of the narrative strands are Murakami at his best - the two moons, the Little People, the phantom NHK collector - and the air chrysalis is a great allegory for exploring memory, love and loss. I've been chewing it over for days, and I think that's the key to this novel - it's about revisiting the past to seize on missed opportunities. But it's too long by half or more - seriously - and it's a chore to read, which is a real pity.

It might be splitting hairs, but if I could give this 2.5/5, I would. It's definitely better than a 2, but barely deserves a 3. Approach with caution.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Crocker on 23 Feb. 2014
Format: Paperback
As a result of a dysfunctional childhood, Murakami’s principal characters Aomame, Tengo and Fuka-Eri are displaced people. They’ve each experienced parental oppression and abuse, whether from Jehovah’s Witnesses, an obsessive insurance salesman, or the leader of a mystery cult. They become involved in alternative behaviour. Aomame executes sex offenders, Tengo’s life is minimalist, Fuka-Eri is partially disconnected. They inhabit a parallel universe with two moons and the existence of the menacing ‘Little People’. They are obsessed with sex.

Murakami weaves a gripping thriller to the climax of Aomame’s ultimate act on page 643, but after that the book becomes flat and trundles on endlessly for a further 160 pages. But is he also saying something? Perhaps social displacement inevitably constructs alternative paradigms? Maybe awareness of another realm is an option? Perhaps stripped of our sophisticated modern civilisation, sex is obsessive in our more primitive being? These are interesting possible interpretations, but if he intends them, Murakami leaves them too obscure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Salisbury on 13 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
There are two things that irritate me with these stories. Firstly, there's a fair bit of product placement; secondly, I still don't understand the need for most of the sexually explicit content. It was not necessary to know which brand of beer was being drunk (petrol advertised, cigarettes smoked...); the story wouldn't have made less sense if the sex had been eluded to rather than described in minute detail.

I am a big fan of Japanese literature and the stories really didn't disappoint in that respect, on the whole, but they didn't have the quality of my (current) favourite contemporary Japanese author, Kazuo Ishiguro.

I have yet to get a copy of Book 3, but I'm looking forward to finding out what happens. Five stars for most of the book: minus two stars for the sleaze.
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