While reading this huge book called 1Q84, I got lost in myself and discovered new places. Actually, whenever I read Haruki Murakami, the same thing happens more or less, but this time it was a little different. I think the biggest reason for this was that I especially wanted to get lost, and Murakami especially wanted to increase the number of missing persons. That’s why I’m writing this review long after I read 1Q84.
In 1Q84, we have the Murakami we know if we take it superficially. You find yourself at an old friend’s surreal party with his cats, his delights about food, and his women. Strangely, you don’t see anything strange, and you curl up in the corner where you feel most comfortable. I’m sure everyone will have a story to tell when they go deeper. Even my dreams have changed. When I think about it later, I can make better connections.
The subject of the book is very captivating. I found myself saying, “But… but..?” from time to time. In fact, even though I kept telling my husband, “Look, do you know what happened..? Now there are some characters here, and they…” I realised that he didn’t know anything, and I kept quiet. You feel like sharing this book, but on the other hand, you know that no matter how much you tell, it will always be incomplete; after a while, you lose your enthusiasm. You continue to immerse yourself in the book and enjoy it.
Don’t let the 925 pages scare you; you won’t realise when you’ve finished reading hundreds of pages. The translation is flawless. Finally, I am sure you will also love the stories in1Q84. When I read Town of Cats, I wished he had written a separate novel about it. We can have a fantastic series if he also releases the novel Air Chrysalis. There is a real Murakamian love story in1Q84 as well. Read this while listening to Janacek – Sinfonietta; as it is mentioned in1Q84 a lot of times. Enjoy!
1Q84 – Haruki Murakami
The year is 1984. Aomame sits in a taxi on the expressway in Tokyo.
Her work is not the kind which can be discussed in public but she is in a hurry to carry out an assignment and, with the traffic at a standstill, the driver proposes a solution. She agrees, but as a result of her actions starts to feel increasingly detached from the real world. She has been on a top-secret mission, and her next job will lead her to encounter the apparently superhuman founder of a religious cult.
Meanwhile, Tengo is leading a nondescript life but wishes to become a writer. He inadvertently becomes involved in a strange affair surrounding a literary prize to which a mysterious seventeen-year-old girl has submitted her remarkable first novel. It seems to be based on her own experiences and moves readers in unusual ways. Can her story really be true?
Both Aomame and Tengo notice that the world has grown strange; both realise that they are indispensable to each other. While their stories influence one another, at times by accident and at times intentionally, the two come closer and closer to intertwining.
Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto, Japan, in 1949. He grew up in Kobe and then moved to Tokyo, where he attended Waseda University. After college, Murakami opened a small jazz bar, which he and his wife ran for seven years.
His first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, won the Gunzou Literature Prize for budding writers in 1979. He followed this success with two sequels, Pinball, 1973 and A Wild Sheep Chase, which all together form “The Trilogy of the Rat.”
Murakami is also the author of the novels Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World; Norwegian Wood; Dance Dance Dance; South of the Border, West of the Sun; The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle; Sputnik Sweetheart; Kafka on the Shore; After Dark; 1Q84; and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. He has written three short story collections: The Elephant Vanishes; After the Quake; and Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman; and an illustrated novella, The Strange Library.
Additionally, Murakami has written several works of nonfiction. After the Hanshin earthquake and the Tokyo subway sarin gas attack in 1995, he interviewed surviving victims, as well as members of the religious cult responsible. From these interviews, he published two nonfiction books in Japan, which were selectively combined to form Underground. He also wrote a series of personal essays on running, entitled What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.
The most recent of his many international literary honors is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J. M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V. S. Naipaul. Murakami’s work has been translated into more than fifty languages.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
I read IQ84 last February, 2021. It was riveting from Page 1, and I couldn’t put it down. After the story ended on paper, it lived on in my mind, as excellent books do. What a story! I am so glad I ran into it in a small used bookshop in a small town I was visiting!
Oh, what a nice coincidence! I always believe the books always find their readers.