A mesmerising, epic, utterly involving masterpiece from 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 stand-still, 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?
Aomame and Tengo's stories influence one another, at times by accident and at times intentionally, as the two come closer and closer to intertwining. As 1Q84 accelerates towards its conclusion, both are pursued by persons and forces they do not know and cannot understand. As they begin to decipher more about the strange world into which they have slipped, so they sense their destinies converging. What they cannot know is whether they will find one another before they are themselves found.
1Q84 is a magnificent and fully-imagined work of fiction - a thriller, a love-story and a mind-bending ode to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is a world from which the reader emerges stunned and altered.
About the Author
Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. He is the author of many novels as well as short stories and non-fiction. His works include Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka On The Shore, After Dark and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. His work has been translated into more than forty languages, and the most recent of his many international honours is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J.M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V.S. Naipaul.
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Comments about 1Q84:
I bought this book as a paperback,got halfway through it and now I'm on holidays and it simply didn't fit in my luggage so I couldn't take it...anyway I missed reading it so much that I've now bought the kindle version!! Absolutely fantastic characterisation that gets under your skin...usually I wouldn't read fantasy but I love this book!! Absolute masterpiece,I highly recommend it...
Comments about 1Q84:
I bought this book based on the positive reviews that I had read, it wasn't until I finished it and went back for a second look that I realised just how many negative reviews there were as well, I should have listened to them.
You can beat around the bush and mention the good points, mainly the feeling of modern Tokyo that one gets from the book, the subtle metaphysics that comes into play, the brief flashes of fantasy that pique your interest, as well as the hope at the beginning that this could be something special.
But to put it simply, nothing happens over and over again. You get to the end of the book and feel like the whole thing could have been condensed several times over and been infinitely better. People say that is the style of this author, to have layer upon layer in the same situation to build different viewpoints, but this was something else entirely. It was pointless and wasteful and just built up a sense in the reader that this was length for lengths sake.
Do not waste your time on this, it is not worth it.
"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
Number Of Pages: 1328
Published: 4th July 2013
Publisher: Random House
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 13.2 x 4.7
Weight (kg): 0.92