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Thriller...with no answers
on 9 September 2013
The three books in the trilogy together make for an addictive read. Right from the first few pages into the first book, the plot is already gripping. A first time reader of Murakami, I thought that this trilogy shows him to be a master of the technique of creating suspense. The way that reality and fantasy are interwoven in the novel is also captivating, and reminds me somewhat of Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. For most of the trilogy moreover, I also thought that IQ84 resembled His Dark Materials perhaps in the symbolic significance of its fantastical elements on 'real life'. But I was to be proved wrong.
Part of the addictiveness of the trilogy comes from the mystery of the way the the world IQ84 worked, with its 'Little People' and whatnot. For me at least, I powered through the book, at first wanting to know how it all fits together, and then reaaallly wanting to know how it all fits together. But the end of the novel simply does not satisfy. Yes, so it all resounds with the epigraph '... But it wouldn't be make-believe//If you believed in me.' - so perhaps readers are asked to leave behind the mysteries of the world of IQ84, because it doesnt matter. All that matters is love. In this case, Tengo and Aomame's love. And I suppose the long suspense readers have endured to find out what the 'Little People' are etc, all serve to hammer in the point that it all REALLy doesnt matter.
But practically speaking.. The style of the novels, quite concise and realistic in my opinion, really didn't set readers up for this romantic notion to end the novel.
So as much as the point, that love is the be-all and end-all, is put across, the ending is frustrating and dissatisfying as well as erudite.
Overall however, a riveting and interesting read. Worth a try, although it takes a while to get through the whole trilogy.