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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars: Murakami's epic
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...
Published on Jan. 17 2012 by SBuckle

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a favourite of mine...
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...
Published on Feb. 7 2012 by Lucy N.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars: Murakami's epic, Jan. 17 2012
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This review is from: 1Q84 (Hardcover)
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a favourite of mine..., Feb. 7 2012
This review is from: 1Q84 (Hardcover)
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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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 (West Vancouver, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: 1Q84 (Hardcover)
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. It feels as though Murakami reached a point where he figured he'd written enough and decided to bring the plot to a quick close. Other entertaining novels have done similar - Tom Wolfe's The Bonfire of the Vanities: A Novel, for example - and while it doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the journey, it does leave the reader unfulfilled at the end.

Despite this not insignificant failing, Murakami is masterful with his imagery and symbolism. Like Yann Martel's tightly written novella, Beatrice and Virgil, the book's physical layout emphasizes its yin and yang duality: in my edition, the female protagonist, Aomame (an assassin) is pictured on the front, while the male protagonist, Tengo (a ghostwriter), is on the back; the sun and moon imagery is mirrored in the pages before and after the novel; the page numbers and the title are mirrored on even and odd pages, and at almost the exact midpoint in the novel there is a significant shift in the story.

Within the story, the dualities of reality-imaginary, male-female, reproductive-nonreproductive, large-small, urban-natural, light-dark, young-old and other pairings are everywhere - sometimes subtle and sometimes explicit. As an example of the former, the zelkova tree is occasionally mentioned as part of the landscape, a tree common to Japan but one that is also popular as a bonsai; a very subtle reinforcement of the large-small duality.

1Q84 is a wonderful, thoughtful and thought-provoking journey led by a master guide, but unfortunately the destination is a bit disappointing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars 1Q84, Sept. 15 2013
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This review is from: 1Q84 (Kindle Edition)
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. Many things did not get resolved or explained clearly. Besides the love story and the revenge launched towards domestic abuse, nothing really made much sense.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Highs and lows, Nov. 14 2014
This review is from: 1Q84 (Kindle Edition)
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 for 400-odd pages. I had to force myself to read those pages with little enjoyment. The ending was better than the middle, but not as good as the start.

For me it was a 5-star book for the first 500 pages, a 2-star book for 400 pages, and a 3 star book for the remainder. So I can thoroughly relate to both the 5 star and 1 star reviews of this book. I think the book could be easy cut in half without losing anything - and I do not understand why it is as long as it is.

Overall, I enjoyed it, but my raised expectations of the start were not sustained to the end.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Novel Ever, Oct. 16 2014
This review is from: 1Q84 (Hardcover)
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. A colossal waste of time. Murakami's and ours. I want my money back.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I like Murikami, but..., May 18 2014
This review is from: 1Q84 (Hardcover)
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 without really entering into any genre like fantasy or sci-fi, though his imagination is certainly encompassing all of those things when he writes.

Now that he has reached epic proportions as a writer of international repute, I feel the need to be a little harder on him, and 1Q84 is my opportunity.

First, when assaying his books one has to ask what their edification is. I mean, when you're short-listed for the Nobel prize you should have something to offer the world, some direction, some path, at least if the role of the storyteller, the mythology is to hold a place in the modern world. If one is outside a formal contemplative life, like Buddhism or another form of inward journeying, then certainly Murikami is one of those artefacts of the novitiate, as in "I remember reading Murikami and thinking there was more to my life than I understood, and I knew that the answers I was looking for were inside me, like the well in Wind Up Bird Chronicles." And maybe this is enough for the accolades, that Murikami reminds us of the human inner life, the imagination and the object possibilities it has always presented, now given new life with physics and alternate dimensions and the Hadrian Collider, etc.. Fair enough. But does that mean a reader must outgrow Murikami? Possibly. I found myself reading him with a new level of criticism this time, as though i wanted him to fail. He didn't, per say; there is no failure in this latest offering. However, I noticed, perhaps for the first time, and I only say perhaps because maybe infatuation in a younger me picked up on these things in earlier reads but let them go, but his language is just plain bad at times. In fact, a lot of the time. Case in point:

"Just after one o’clock Saturday afternoon, Aomame visited the Willow House. The grounds of the place were dominated by several large, old willow trees that towered over the surrounding stone wall and swayed soundlessly in the wind like lost souls."

I can just imagine some unknown Murikami getting a rejection letter from her agent in which the editor points out this one sentence among many, indicative of a kind of repetition, the enemy of good prose. An old willow tree would be nothing but large, and if that is allowed to go unchecked, we are then told they tower over something....

Still, he's a great read, and if you still believe the world is a cogent, unbroken linear experience, then Murikami fills a purpose. He's kind of like a guided meditation, which always leads to being able to meditate upon life by oneself. I guess that's a good thing.

Those who hate this guy do so with a passion, finding him pointless and impossible to follow. To them I say, go back to Dean Koontz or Wuthering Heights. Go back to you controlled world of already experienced things and keep pretending there's nothing else going on.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy it very much., April 20 2014
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This review is from: 1Q84 (3 Volume Box) (Paperback)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Condition, Excellent Read., July 9 2013
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This review is from: 1Q84 (Hardcover)
Quite the book, bought used and it looks brand new. I highly recommend it. It is a book that keeps you thinking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of My Favorites, May 15 2013
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J. Hussey - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 1Q84 (Hardcover)
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.
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1Q84
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (Hardcover - Oct. 25 2011)
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