Customer Reviews


145 Reviews
5 star:
 (71)
4 star:
 (28)
3 star:
 (21)
2 star:
 (8)
1 star:
 (17)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


88 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
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...
Published on 20 Oct 2011 by M. Dowden

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Started well and then became childish.
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.
Published 4 months ago by Onsville chap


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

88 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 20 Oct 2011
By 
M. Dowden (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.

You could in actuality read this story twice, once reading the chapters to do with Aomame, and then the ones that are about Tengo, but it is much better to read them as a whole and enter Murakami's imagination; just relax and go with the flow, you won't be disappointed.

Once again, if you have never read any fiction by Murakami, I wouldn't suggest this as a first read. I usually tell people to read After The Quake. There is a good reason for this, as this is a short story collection where all the stories centre on one subject, an earthquake. If you enjoy and 'get' those then you should enjoy anything else written by Murakami. I can't wait until next week when the third volume comes out. I should point out that this kindle edition does have an active table of contents.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Started well and then became childish., 7 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Long..., 17 Aug 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Felt like it was a bit long, at the beginning not alot made sense and not alot happened. Lots of r-rated details that I dont think were needed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Middling, 19 Feb 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 1Q84: Books 1 and 2 (Hardcover)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everybody Should Visit 1Q84, 26 Mar 2012
By 
This review is from: 1Q84: Books 1 and 2 (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. Of course there's so much more to the story than this but I won't say more in any case anybody who reads this post decides to try 1Q84 - I wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone as it's a joy to read this book!

There's something odd and a kind of friction and tension within the personality of every character in the book for me, even in the very minor characters, but somehow this added to rather than detracted from my enjoyment of the novel. Consequently, because of the slightly strange feel to everything I wouldn't say I was able to completely empathise with Tengo, Aomame, Fuka-Eri or any other character in the book. But I was fascinated by them and I felt I did kind of understand them. They are so well drawn that their complexities, features and lives simply leap off the page at you.

The book is wonderfully well written. No matter what he explores in a chapter it is always done with a kind of vibrancy in the writing and yet there is a feeling of a writer applying an economy of effort at the same time. It reads like one of those books where the author says just the right words, just the right amount of words and just at the right time, on every single page.

Above all though for me what I loved most about this book is "story" itself. Clearly there are obvious parallels between it and Orwell's 1984. I read Orwell's book a long time ago as a very callow adolescent. I remember enjoying reading it but 1Q84 definitely moved me more than Orwell's book. (That may of course simply be a maturity thing for me personally). I loved the fact that somehow this is what I tend to think of as a "clever" book, in fact it's a toweringly "clever" book, and yet it stayed on the right side of clever from start to finish and never strayed into the "look how clever I am" territory that I sometimes find with some other authors.

At this point I've no idea where it will go next in Book Three - but I can't wait to find out
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK as thriller, but is there an idea?, 23 Feb 2014
By 
Geoff Crocker (Bristol UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 1Q84: Books 1 and 2 (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacks depth, 9 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The main story lacks depth and is repetitive. Lots of interesting subplots but none are explored. Worst of all the story does not conclude and everything is left hanging. Bizarely there is continual sexual reference that seems to have little connection to the main plot
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant moments - but needs a red pen, 3 Mar 2013
This review is from: 1Q84: Books 1 and 2 (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Murakami but.., 3 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 1Q84: Books 1 and 2 (Hardcover)
Being one of the greatest authors in the modern times, I was used to ready amazing books from him.

Unfortunately this book did not completely satisfied me. The plot was kind of predictable and in some parts, in fact, can be boring.

It is a interesting book, but not a top Murakami one
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but too long for such a small plot, 19 Jun 2012
This review is from: 1Q84: Books 1 and 2 (Hardcover)
The story overall is great but i feel like they could have made this book in one volume instead of three. The autor keeps pumping the book with irelevant scenes, thoughts and data just to make it last longer and to sell 3 books instead of one. You can sense the japanese style in the books but only in a vague manner because its very comercialised. I enjoyed the books but most likely i will not pick them up again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 215 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0x10f56048)

This product

1Q84: Books 1 and 2
1Q84: Books 1 and 2 by Haruki Murakami (Paperback - 2 Aug 2012)
6.29
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews