1Q84: Books 1, 2 and 3 Paperback – 5 Apr 2012
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"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)
A mesmerising, epic, utterly involving masterpiece from Haruki MurakamiSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Murakami has an incredibly vivid imagination. I never knew where he would take us next - he is totally unpredictable. The form and design of the work is ingenious, clever and disciplined - like the finale of Mozart's Jupiter symphony where all the little pieces of the jigsaw gradually fit together like magic. And like certain pieces of music (for example the finale of Act 2 of The Marriage of Figaro), the author's fertile imagination keeps it going on and on endlessly, better and better, as if time is suspended, in a way that takes the breath away. Some have complained 1Q84 is too long, but I felt there was not a word out of place - everything is deftly calculated and in exactly the right place, and it is perfectly proportioned. The last chapter felt exactly right, rounding the novel off perfectly while being emotionally and intellectually so very satisfying.
It is odd how different authors sometimes independently catch a particular concept, perhaps reflecting the prevailing 'zeitgeist'. I recently read 'The Day' by Rachel Walsh, which includes several slightly surreal short stories inspired by the organisation of Jehovah's Witnesses. Murakami takes a similar idea further, into 'Alice in Wonderland' territory. The Sakigake religion, the dark heart of the 1Q84 world, seems clearly inspired by the organisation of Jehovah's Witness in the real 1984 world. Both Walsh and Murakami point up the parallels with totalitarian communism.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a fantastic book.
I will admit to being a Murakami fan.
Kafka on the Shore being my favourite.
But this one ranks high on the list of his books.
I discovered Murakami books about a year ago having had one sitting on the shelf for years neglected as for some reason other things kept getting picked ahead of it! Read morePublished 2 months ago by happysouls
Haruki Murakami returns to the surrealistic, magic realism fiction of "Kafka on the Shore" in his genre-bending "1Q84", ably translated by his long-time translators... Read morePublished 5 months ago by John Kwok
I'm finding it hard to consolidate my thoughts about this book and honestly, this was how I felt throughout reading it. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Janine Holmes
Murakami is an author whose work I am constantly revisiting in an effort to find what I appear to be missing. In theory his body of work should be one I worship. Read morePublished 6 months ago by G Adams
Loved the opening scene but its gradually downhill from there as this progresses into a repetitive, illogical and incredibly boring read...gave up halfway through.Published 7 months ago by MOD