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1Q84: Books 1, 2 and 3 Paperback – 2 Aug 2012
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"Murakami's magnum opus" (Japan Times)
"1Q84 has a range and sophistication that surpasses anything else in his oeuvre. It is his most achieved novel; an epic in which form and content are neatly aligned... So like Murakami himself, I'll borrow from Orwell: 1Q84 is quite simply doubleplusgood" (Independent on Sunday)
"1Q84 reads like a cross between Stieg Larsson and Roberto Bolano... In its bones, this novel is a thriller" (Daily Telegraph)
"Eerie, suspenseful and packed full of gorgeous ordinary details and provocative extraordinary events, Murakami takes weighty themes and delivers a compulsive tale that is funny, fresh and intensely surreal. Unmissable." (Marie Claire)
"It is a work of maddening brilliance and gripping originality, deceptively casual in style, but vibrating with wit, intellect and ambition" (The Times)
A mesmerising, epic, utterly involving masterpiece from Haruki MurakamiSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
Please don't let the size of the book scare you as its well over 1200 pages. The prose is first class and though we are talking about Japanese name there story and characters is real easy to follow. The story is over several book but revolves around the lives of one male and one female character and how then interact. Its is such a good and original story.
The story has everything, sex, murder, small people, sub plots and two moons and different worlds. Though it is very lengthy it is so hard to put down and it took me a month to read cover to cover and reading nearly every day and every spare moment.
This is a great introduction to Haruki Murakami.
Readers of different mindsets will enjoy varying aspects of this book. For me, the close bond of friendship between Aomame and Ayumi was a highlight - so poignantly described, as was Tengo's night out with the nurses working at his father's care home. Others might find the surrealistic nature of some of the plot more enriching than I did. I couldn't see the point of the Little Creatures, who were never properly explained (maybe that's Murakami's point - he describes a world that can only be half-described). Where the symbolism could be directly correlated to the narrative - the two moons rather obviously symbolising Tengo and Aomame and the two worlds they have inhabited - Murakami has handled them well. Other imagery is hit and miss.
The plot deals with some very serious issues - child abuse, religious cults, violence against women - but in typical Murakami style they are delivered with the same deft hand that describes a willowy cloud or a rain shower. That, I guess, explains why I was so surprised to see so many suicides in the movie version of "Norwegian Wood" - I had simply forgotten that these happened in the novel itself.
There is, without doubt, something mesmerising and very beautiful about Murakami's writing, and it is hard to resist feeling that you too are trying to navigate your way through the puzzling world of 1Q84 like Tengo and Aomame. But a novel of loose threads that remain untied at the end can be frustrating - after 1200 pages, I was left wishing there could have been a Book 4, sewing up the narrative conclusions that are so often intentionally withheld in the whimsical, lovely and sometimes frustrating writings of this brilliant author!
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.
I hope none of what I have written gives the impression that this is an overly arty or intellectual book. Far from it, it is quite a page turner, a thriller with a big love story at its heart.
This was my first introduction to Murakami (it was recommended by a friend who had just read 'The Day') - but it won't be my last.
Read this - you owe it to yourself.