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1Q84 [Hardcover]

Haruki Murakami , Jay Rubin
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Oct. 25 2011
The long-awaited magnum opus from Haruki Murakami, in which this revered and bestselling author gives us his hypnotically addictive, mind-bending ode to George Orwell's 1984.

The year is 1984. Aomame is riding in a taxi on the expressway, in a hurry to carry out an assignment. Her work is not the kind that can be discussed in public. When they get tied up in traffic, the taxi driver suggests a bizarre 'proposal' to her. Having no other choice she agrees, but as a result of her actions she starts to feel as though she is gradually becoming detached from the real world. She has been on a top secret mission, and her next job leads her to encounter the 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 disturbance that develops over a literary prize. While Aomame and Tengo impact on each other in various ways, at times by accident and at times intentionally, they come closer and closer to meeting. Eventually the two of them notice that they are indispensable to each other. Is it possible for them to ever meet in the real world?

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1Q84 + Norwegian Wood + The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel
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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastical Journey on the Edge of Reality Sept. 26 2012
By Ian Robertson TOP 100 REVIEWER
Haruki Murakami's latest novel, "1Q84" - translated from its original Japanese and set in and around Tokyo is a very entertaining, expansive novel rife with rich imagery and symbols. Like many of the best stories it is simple at its heart - unrequited love and the quest to reconnect after years apart - and like many of the best stories it is full of interesting characters, coincidences, chance events and plot twists.

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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars: Murakami's epic Jan. 17 2012
By SBuckle
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This will undoubtedly be Murakami's epic. Not only because it's a bear at almost 1000 pages, but because it's his best book. I thought his last piece of fiction, 'After Dark', was rushed and featured too many characters. This didnt allow his characters to develop like Murakami is known for.

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.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a favourite of mine... Feb. 7 2012
By Lucy N.
I am definitely a Murakami fan, even though I think a lot of his books are a bit formulaic (young teenage girl and middle aged man team up, heading on a wacky adventure filled with cats, unexplainable events, and overly detailed descriptions of food and clothing).

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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Started Out Good, Ended Terribly Dec 10 2012
This was the first Murakami book I ever read, and apparently it is not a good one to start with if you're unfamiliar with the author.
It started out pretty good and it had me intrigued for a while, but near the end things started to fall apart.

The idea of a 'parallel dimension/world' and I use the term loosely here because it's never actually confirmed that this was a parallel world. Many ideas, such as the "Little People" was never quite fully developed. They are entities that are manipulating humans, and that's as far as he gets into anything really deep about them. The world has 2 moons, but nothing is ever explained about how exactly this comes to be. The book was VERY detailed for just about everything, except what it NEEDED to be detailed about. And we're talking about a 900+ page book, so needless to say I was very disappointed with the ending. A lot of questions were left unanswered and a lot of assumptions has to be made on the part of the reader as to what the author was actually trying to say.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing book Aug. 2 2012
By Tanu
I got this book because I had heard so many wonderful things about Murakami's work. I was not a literature major and do not claim to be an expert in Japanese literature. I simply read books to be entertained, stimulated. The book was a disappointment to me. The story is simple but overly long, and in many cases repetitive. The protagonists were very much card board figures and no amount of (repetitive) description of what they ate and drank, how they looked, and their first encounter with each other in childhood, did not bring them life to me. After half way through the book I was bored and did not care what happened to either of them. I read the rave reviews and I keep thinking I must have missed something, that was not the book I read. I give the book 2 stars.
By the way I am a Japanese speaker, born and raised in Japan and English is my second language.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I like Murikami, but...
I like Murikami. I first read Wild Sheep Chase in the early 90s and was dumbfounded by his imagination and his ability to weave a narrative both in and out of the known reality... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Bruce MacDonald
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy it very much.
It's the first time I buy Haruki Murakami's book in English. Not as difficult as I thought to read.Enjoy it very much.
Published 4 months ago by yi-kai shieh
2.0 out of 5 stars 1Q84
I found the first volume quite captivating and the characters were well introduced. Then the story began to lose its focus. It was too long and rather pointless towards the end. Read more
Published 11 months ago by J.L.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Condition, Excellent Read.
Quite the book, bought used and it looks brand new. I highly recommend it. It is a book that keeps you thinking.
Published 13 months ago by Danielle Williamson
5.0 out of 5 stars One of My Favorites
Very long book, but one of my favorites that I have ever read. Certainly kept me captivated and I love the similarities in concept with 1984...another one of my favorite books.
Published 15 months ago by J. Hussey
1.0 out of 5 stars Jumped the shark
I'm a big Murakami fan but this book seems to confirm my impression of his career trajectory:

Early work - Inventive and imaginative, playful, descriptions are... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Anon
5.0 out of 5 stars Non stop reading!
1Q84 (3 Volume Box)

The best book I read this year. This author was unknown to me, so it was a great surprise
Published 20 months ago by Pedro
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best New Novel Published in English Last Year
Haruki Murakami returns to the surrealistic, magic realism fiction of "Kafka on the Shore" in his genre-bending "1Q84", ably translated by his long-time translators Jay Rubin and... Read more
Published on May 12 2012 by John Kwok
1.0 out of 5 stars From a huge fan
I'm a huge Murakami fan, I've read all his books. 1Q84 gets 1 star from me. If it was 400 pages shorter, it would be a decent book. Read more
Published on April 19 2012 by Jason Bradbury
3.0 out of 5 stars IQ84
I purchased this e-bank after reading the reviews, but am finding it so long, have been reading what seems like forever and am only at 62%... Read more
Published on Feb. 24 2012 by M. Karen Young
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