1Q84 Hardcover – Oct 25 2011
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A Globe and Mail Best Book
Shortlisted for the International Impac Dublin Literary Award
“1Q84 goes further than any Murakami novel so far, and perhaps further than any novel before it, toward exposing the delicacy of the membranes that separate love from chance encounters, the kind from the wicked, and reality from what people living in the pent-up modern world dream about when they go to sleep under an alien moon.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Murakami’s fiction has grown increasingly relevant to our understanding of the world today, and this time his craft is more refined than ever. . . . This novel—mired in death and fetish, leavened with humor—may become a mandatory read for anyone trying to get to grips with contemporary Japanese culture.”
—The Japanese Times
“‘Things are not what they seem.’ If Murakami’s ambitious, sprawling and thoroughly stunning new novel had a tagline, that would be it. . . . Orwellian dystopia, sci-fi, the modern world (terrorism, drugs, apathy, pop novels)—all blend in this dreamlike, strange and wholly unforgettable epic.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“You'll find genuine wisdom and emotional depth in 1Q84. Mr. Murakami has gone further here to develop the sensations of loss and isolation.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“Murakami really does stand alone . . . Which other author can remind you simultaneously of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and JK Rowling, not merely within the same chapter but on the same page? Viewed through the ‘postmodern’ lens, his exemplary blend of a light touch and weighty themes, of high literature and popular entertainment, ticks every box. Posh and pop, sublimity and superficiality, history and fantasy, trash and transcendence: they switch positions and then fuse as the metaphysical speculations of an Ivan Karamazov meet the death-defying adventures of a Harry Potter.”
—The Independent (UK)
Praise for Haruki Murakami:
"Murakami is like a magician who explain what he's doing as he performs the trick and still makes you believe he has supernatural powers... But while anyone can tell a story that resembles a dream, it's a rare artist, like this one, who can make us feel that we are dreaming it ourselves."
— The New York Times Book Review
About the Author
HARUKI MURAKAMI was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. His work has been translated into more than forty languages, and the most recent of his many international honors is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J.M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V.S. Naipaul.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The title is a play on Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty Four - in Murakami's novel the Q stands for "question mark" - and there are many direct and subtle references to his classic, including a group called `the little people', a play on Orwell's Big Brother. Also similar to Orwell's book, "1Q84" is a mix of ordinary, everyday activities and fantastical occurrences. And like contemporary Japan it is also a mix of modern lifestyle, tradition and culture, and the inevitable intrusion of Western (pop) culture. [In addition to "1984", the song "Paper Moon" is central (interestingly, Orwell had used song lyrics repetitively in his novel, too). "2001: A Space Odyssey", Proust's "In Search of Lost Time", and many other Western works also advance the plot and introduce or reinforce themes].
The combined effect of the plot, themes, imagery, and characters is very entertaining, but readers will find this novel is the very antithesis of a short story. The best short stories are tightly constructed works of art, not an extraneous word, plot digression or loose end; and of course they're short. "1Q84" has so many threads and sub-plots, all apparently building towards the denouement, but unfortunately when the novel finally concludes many of the threads are left hanging.Read more ›
The exact opposite is true of 1Q84. He focused on two main protagonists and let them simmer like a grand stew, slowly bringing out their flavors over time. His meticulous details help us understand who his characters are and how they live in the world. This can be trying at times like when something suspenseful is around the corner and Murakami is taking his time setting up the scene, but it's worth it in the end, because once you get there, the details are clear and you better live in the scene.
I do dock him points for introducing Ushikawa as a lead near the end of the book - it felt like a cop out and disrupted the flow a bit. I understand he needed Ushikawa's perspective to move along some plot elements, but Ushikawa was extremely interesting and could have lived throughout the whole book.
For Murakami fans, 1Q84 is a must. This is the one book that will represent Murakami as time passes.
This book would probably have gotten 4 stars out of me had it been 300-500 pages. It was simply too drawn out and overly descriptive, with many points (such as the two moons and Aomame's breasts) talked about over and over and over. I finished it because I DID want to know what happened at the end, but like many Murakami stories, you have to take the story as your own and make up an ending for yourself, as a lot is just left unclear.
I wouldn't say don't read this, but in the time it takes to read all 1000 of these pages, you could read 2-3 of his other more succinct books.
Overall: I was disappointed, though not upset I read it to the end.
The story follows two main characters, with connections to one another that are only apparent well into the narrative. But they are each the center of their own personal solar system; the moons and planets and satellites in each respective orbit are often eccentric, and as celestial bodies orbiting different stars collide, the tale moves into the strange gravitational stability of a binary star... a cruel galactic romance that sloughs off all orbital relationships and responsibilities. Similarly, they both encounter a second moon that no one seems to notice.
Both Aomame and Tengo were raised in difficult environments, albeit of very different kinds. Both characters make a choice that opens, for them alone, a door. Each of their respective doors will take them into an alternate universe, one with very slight narrative differences.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Haruki Murakami’s magnum opus “One Q Eighty-Four” or “ichi-kew-hachi-yon” (a play on the Japanese pronunciation of the year 1984, in reference to George Orwell’s Nineteen... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Rashmi Pluscec
Fantastic read - I picked up the book in the library and then had to purchase it on my Kindle for my travels. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Rithu
Murakami is a wonderful storyteller. He has a sharp eye for possibility; the fantastic that he pulls into life is totally believable and follows a logic all of its own. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Tom McGreevy
1Q84, Mylo Xyloto and a window in a Starbuck Coffee! The perfect match!Published 13 months ago by Pinback
I'm only halfway through, but it is very odd and I have NO IDEA where this story is going. So...two thumbs up!Published 14 months ago by David White
Phenomenal read! My first Murakami book, and loved it. Took a while, but worth it. I have since read 4 other books by him, and they are all awesome.Published 14 months ago by Josh
I found the story really compelling for the first half. But it appeared to me that the story reached a climax right in the middle of the 1100+ word book then nothing much happened... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Blair T
I have no idea what the blurb writers were ingesting/ smoking/ injecting or vaporizing but this is THE BIGGEST WASTE OF TREES IN THE HISTORY OF TRANSLATED NOVELS. Read morePublished 16 months ago by lamont cranston