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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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I will assume that if you are considering reading Book 3 of 1Q84 that you have read (and enjoyed) Book 1 and 2. If so, you are in for a treat. This book has taken over my life recently and I have enjoyed every second of reading it. To begin with, Book 3 is a continuation of the previous books - that is, it is not a 'stand alone' novel and will make no sense unless you have read the previous books.

This time, the chapters are told from the point of view of Aomame, Tengo and Ushikawa, who previously offered a 'deal' to Tengo from the New Japan Foundation and who vetted Aomame before she met the Leader. For people who thought the previous books dragged, or meandered, this book will not be for you. Much of this book contains people who are looking for others, while others are hiding. Ushikawa has been told by Buzzcut and Ponytail (the Leader's bodyguards) to trace Aomame. Aomame is in hiding, while Fuka-Eri is hiding in Tengo's apartment.

There are times when Aomame comes very close to meeting Tengo, but somehow events keep them apart. Tengo's father goes into a coma and he spends time with him. His father was a NHK fee collector and one begins to appear throughout the book, visiting and threatening their apartments. Ushikawa begins to find links between Aomame and Tengo and between Aomame and the dowager. As he gets closer, will Aomame evade capture and finally meet up with Tengo? Do the Leader's followers want to hurt her, or do they need her?

This book has a lot of introspection, but it also has a lot of hidden menace, with an undercurrent of violence and threat running throughout the pages. The writing is simply wonderful and the author creates a real sense of what people are feeling. There is one moment when Ushikawa is in the bath, for example, and his thoughts are compared to dogs which "frolicked around" and "chased pointlessly after squirrels," before coming back to Ushikawa who "patted their heads and fastened their collars back on." The writing is excellent, you care about the characters (even Ushikawa) and for an author to sustain the tension in the way he does is breathtaking. If you did not like Book 1 and 2, then you will probably not like this either. Hopefully you did and you will, because this is superb writing and a stunning achievement. I loved it.
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on 11 May 2017
this series was recommended to me and I found it completely absorbing, read books 1-3 without pause! Copy as described, and arrived as ordered.
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It may only have been a week ago that the first two parts of this story came out, but it feels like ages having to wait for this part. We are back in the world of 1Q84, but we also have another prominent character; we now have alternating chapters between Ushikawa, Aomame, and Tengo (apart from the very last chapter). If you remember, Ushikawa was already in the story, and here we find out a lot more about him and his exact relationship to the cult, Sakigake.

With alternating chapters between three characters, not only has Murakami already created a surreal world very much like our own, but now has added an extra, playing with time, as we read what one character did, and then what the other was doing, thus adding yet another dimension to this complex tale.

Sakigake want to get their hands on Aomame, and so Ushikawa is required to find her, but at the same time Aomame has problems of her own staying hidden, and wanting to find Tengo. Tengo has to deal with his father, who is in a coma, and then passes away. Will Aomame and Tengo ever meet? Read this part of the tale to find out, and find out what ultimately happens, and whether 1Q84 will be left behind for 1984.

This whole tale, including the first two parts has taken in so much. It is surreal, it is fantastical, it is an allegory, as well as being metaphysical and philosophical, and leaves you asking so many questions about the world around us. If you haven't read the first two parts then please don't read this by itself, you do get an idea of some of what has already transpired, but not enough to leave you not scratching your head in bewilderment. This kindle edition does have an active table of contents.
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on 13 July 2017
Brilliant book.
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on 4 March 2012
I am a Murakami fan who would put the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle at the top of my list of favourites.

This trilogy does ramble and would probably benefit from intelligent editing but I can always forgive Murakami all his faults because of the impeccable way that he writes.

I am of the reviewers that like Murakami characters. I like the clean, simple lives that they lead and the fact that the male heroes are such empathizers with and fans of women.

Unlike many reviewers I found Book 3 more satisfying than volumes 1 and 2, in part because of the development of the character Ushikawa, to whom we are introduced in the first two volumes. The first 2 volumes are repetitive and slow and Ushikawa adds necessary pace to the narrative. This character also seems to me to be a respectful nod from the author to the villains in Russian novels who are credible because they are not all bad.

On the surreal elements of these volumes I quote another of the reviewers who expresses my view exactly: "I could get very irritated with the two moons/other world trope in the hands of a lesser writer, but Murakami carries me with him. I can allow my rationalist nature to take a rest knowing that I am safe in his imagination."

As with his other books it is a mixture of genius and weakness and - admirer of Murakami as I am -I wouldn' t want a newcomer to his writing to be put off him by starting with these books. For his sheer ability to seduce the reader with his writing I would probably have given the trilogy a higher rating but in order to avoid disappointing first-time readers I have given it 3 stars.
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on 10 November 2011
OK Haruki. We can sell easily sell anything you write, so there's no need to waste money on a editor. And why not overwrite it so it runs to two volumes? With loads of repetitions you could even stretch it to three? That way we make three times as much money! Bound to be a winner.
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on 18 December 2012
I've read many of Murakami's books over the years starting with boxed edition of Norwegian Wood. (BTW would recommend the film of that too, even though it is different from the book). But 1Q84 is disappointing I think; largely because there is so much repetition in it - it needed radical editing (to suit my taste) in order to maintain the stories flow. I found that his usual poeticism was undermined by this repetition of the main protagonists POV and the continual summarising of where the plot is up to. I found myself doing what I only reserve to pot-boiler thrillers which is to read alternate pages, just to finish the damn thing. So I really got picky towards the end...
BUT the things I did like, such as plucking threads out of the air, and the inexpressive communication from Fuki-Era managed to carry it through.
A-and then he gives it a clear and happy ending! When did that ever happen before?
As someone else notes, not the place to start with his books.
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on 23 May 2012
Hugely repetitive, Book 3 of 1Q84 should have been condensed down into a few chapters and tacked on to the end of the first two books. Nothing really happens for the first half, then it resolves slowly in a fairly predictable manner but leaving many questions unresolved.

Overall, I felt it was trying too hard to be a lengthy 'classic'...
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on 4 February 2013
I was a bit disappointed with this volume as I love the first two. I felt the story did not continue as much as just went over the previous storyline and the ending left me feeling cheated. I'm not sure how the book could have ended but it did not meet expectations. I love Murakami books usually but feel he may have just stretched this story to 3 volumes when it could have been wrapped up at end of book 2. The characters and storyline did not grow in this book and there is a lack of any real action or indeed any answers to so many questions that you are left with in book 2. Having said that you do have to read this one after the other 2 just to see what happens and an enjoyable if frustrating read by one of my favourite authors.
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on 21 April 2013
I was determined not to read any reviews until I had almost dragged myself to the end of book 3. Now that I have I find I agree with the general consensus apart from the fact that I need a book 4. This story is not complete and I don't have Murakami's flawed genius to make one up. I got to the end and actually went argghhhh.
As dragged out and frustratingly slow as some part parts of the trilogy were it had moments of pure beauty and some amazing ideas that will stay with me forever. For example I love the story of the town of cats.
To conclude if you read books 1 and 2 then you have no choice but to read the third but if you are thinking of starting be warned. I am glad I bothered but at times I wished I hadn't.
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