1Q84

1Q84

Book - 2011 | 1st ed.
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"Murakami is like a magician who explains 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 the rare artist, like this one, who can make us feel that we are dreaming it ourselves." -- The New York Times Book Review
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The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 --"Q is for 'question mark.' A world that bears a question." Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.

As Aomame's and Tengo's narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.

A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell's-- 1Q84 is Haruki Murakami's most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780307593313
Branch Call Number: MURAK
Characteristics: 925 p. ; 24 cm.
Alternative Title: One-Q-eighty-four

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j
jontalk
Oct 13, 2018

This was a Corte Madera 'staff pick' which I found to be fascinating in spite of its 1154 page length. I would have given it 5 stars were it to have ended differently.

Haruki is a master craftsman when it comes to characters, plot, fantasy and genre and 1Q84 is unique in all areas. For the most part characters are emotionally challenged, a quality not typically experienced in a love story. The pacing is well done and use of character's 'thoughts' immerse the reader deeper into their world. Creatively, the story stands alone when it comes to suspense, characterization, sci-fi/fantasy and romance, which are woven into the plot with great precision. Unlike others who've commented, I was engaged from start to end which is more than I can say for others I've encountered. Regardless, if you seek something well written, unique and immersive, invest the time; you won't be sorry!

w
Waluconis
Jun 18, 2018

You might notice views vary widely on this novel. It is paced differently than a western novel, even given it being originally published as three books. The first 400 pages were totally suspenceful. At times the heightened suspence made me want to skip to the end of chapters, and I was always glad I didn't because the resolutions were never quite what I expected. I have only read one other novel that made me want to do this. Then about half way through this long novel, it settles into a kind of people in hiding and spy versus spy. In the meantime, there is a very mysterious fantasy based on a book published in this story. We then have another switch to a kind of sweet romance. I find it interesting that while many readers challenge the believability of this ending, no one blinks an eye at a woman who has created the art of perfect homicides. If you want one of those old-fasioned, tie-all-loose-ends-together books, you won't find it here. But if you like wild rides that allow you to have a look into other worlds, real and/or otherwise, you will find it here. As Murakami tells us in the novel: "It is not that the meaning cannot be explained. But there are certain meanings that are lost forever the moment they are explained in words."(466) One last note, a musical one, your reading will be enhanced is you find a recording of Janacek's Sinfonietta and listen to it during the time you read this novel.

l
LadyDi52
Oct 05, 2017

I started out loving this book, a fascinating tennis game between two voices. I'm halfway through and I don't think I will finish it; the author repeats many of the details over and over, while he takes many chapters to flesh out the characters; but what is the most disturbing is that his focus becomes on under-age sex (older men with young girls) which makes it very apparent this book is written from a male perspective, so that the voices of the female heroines lose credibility for me.

c
CJTroffe
Sep 12, 2017

The length of this book is intimidating, but it is a surprisingly easy read and once I was about a third the way through, I couldn't put it down.
I agree with other reviewers in that it was repetitive at times, however I enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the quirks of everyday life in Tokyo. The city really became the third main character in the story, with its own rich, developed personality. I don't think any tourism book could promote the richness, history, and edginess of Tokyo better and this book made me want to go there.
It is hard to describe what kind of a book this is; I would describe it as a love story augmented with action, murder, surrealism, and wonderfully slow building suspense right to the very end. It was an exciting ending. I recommend it!

m
michellelee_0
Jul 28, 2016

This book was very slow. A lot of the chapters were filled with long descriptions of everyday activities (i.e. preparing dishes, riding a train, etc.). I've also seen from other reviews that the imagery of the female characters in this novel were highly sexualized (much to my chagrin). AND THE WHOLE THING ENDS WITH SO MANY QUESTIONS LEFT UNANSWERED. IF THERE IS GOING TO BE NO ANSWERS, WHY IS THERE 925 PAGES??

Aside from all that, many quotable lines in here that might reflect Murakami's own philosophy on life. There's much to take away from this book than the story itself.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

1Q84 was largely entertaining. At times it became bogged down under its own mass, but when the story was moving, it moved. Of the three books, the second was the most thrilling and insightful. The dialogue between Aomame and Tamaru at the end of the first book and into the second was captivating and became the force which propelled me to read further. This story is all about Aomame and Tengo, but I found some of the supporting characters so interesting that I wanted to know more about them.

f
Filthy_Doves
Apr 26, 2016

Second favorite book by my favorite author, honestly couldn't put it down

b
BookLady125
Dec 09, 2015

I read this for a book group and it isn't something I would have picked up on my own, but I am glad to have discovered it. It is hard to describe the plot because there is so much more going on than can be explained in a coherent way. I both read the print book and listened to the book on disc depending on what I had time for. I think the audio version did a good job of telling the male and female story using different readers. I can't say that I liked it or hated it. The ending didn't tie up all the loose ends and I still don't know who or what the Little People were. This book was a journey that was entertaining and thought-provoking. While the journey's end was not satisfying, I enjoyed getting there.

Last_Nights_Readings Nov 07, 2015

This book seems to draw the love it or hate it crowd. People were either praising it heavily with all the worship of a reader that can give to an author or they were racing through it to finish, or not finishing it at all.

I am of the lovers of Murakami. I am already biased and into his style of writing before reading anything of his. I will always be a loyal reader and love his words. I cannot recommend him enough. If you are a fan, I will advise to start reading. If you are not a fan, take Murakami a little at a time. 1Q84 in English was printed as 1 book, while in Japan, it was in 3 books. Keep that in mind! I thought I would never finish but I did.

Tea recommended for this book is Red Velvet Cake Tea by David's Tea for it's alluring tea notes, and both it's complexity and simplicity, just like 1Q84. This tea will have you love it in allowing you to sit back and ponder a thing or two about this world.

m
MplsPeggy
Aug 02, 2015

This book came highly recommended to me by 2 friends. While I enjoyed it immensely at the start, I found that it dragged on, becoming repetitive at times. I even felt that the author was growing weary of the story, continuing to provide detailed descriptions of every moment but offering very little explanation of the more fanciful sci-fi aspects of the plot. Characters simply KNEW their hypotheses to be true. In the end, the book amused me but I was relieved to finish it.

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Quotes

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daydreamer6O4 Dec 19, 2016

“If you can love someone with your whole heart, even one person, then there's salvation in life. Even if you can't get together with that person.”

m
michellelee_0
Jul 28, 2016

"If you can't understand it without an explanation, you can't understand it with an explanation. "

s
sky123
Mar 05, 2015

... And a flash of lightning lit up this truth for me, right in front of my eyes. that night I lost you, I also lost something inside me. Or perhaps several things. Something central to my existence, the very support for who I am as a person... It was no longer the blazing anger I used to have It had transformed into something more like a faintly colored sorrow..." "I can't feel the pure, intense anger I used to have anymore ..." "It hasn't completely disappeared, but like you said, it has withdrawn to someplace far away. For years this anger has occupied a large part of me. It's been what has driven me." "Like a merciless coachman who never rests ..." p934-5

j
john_doh17
Oct 26, 2014

Either I'm funny or the world's funny. I don't know which. The bottle and the lid don't fit. It could be the bottle's fault or the lid's fault. In either case there's no denying that the fit is bad pg 111.

j
john_doh17
Oct 26, 2014

People need things like that to go on living-mental landscapes that have meaning for them, even if hey can't explain them in words. Part of why we live is to come up with explanations for these things. Pg 516

j
john_doh17
Oct 26, 2014

It is not that the meaning cannot be explained, but there are certain meanings that are lost forever the moment they are explained in words. Pg 466

j
john_doh17
Oct 26, 2014

If you can't understand it without an explanation, you can't understand it with an explanation. Pg 413

k
kn1226
May 28, 2014

You can't generalize about pain. Each kind of pain has its own characteristics. To rephrase Tolstoy's famous line, all happiness is alike, but each pain is painful in its own way.

singsangsung333 Jul 28, 2013

"The most important thing is to maintain balance between the constantly moving good and evil. If you lean too much in either direction, it becomes difficult to maintain actual morals."

crooked_kate Jul 28, 2012

True, rewriting the past probably had almost no meaning, Tengo felt. His older girlfriend had been right about that. No matter how passionately or minutely he might attempt to rewrite the past, the general circumstances in which he found himself would remain generally unchanged. Time had the power to cancel all changes wrought by human artifice, overwriting all new revisions with further revisions, returning the flow to its original course. A few minor facts might be changed, but Tengo would still be Tengo.

What Tengo would have to do, it seemed was take a hard look at the past while standing at the crossroads of the present. Then he could create a future, as though he were rewriting the past. (Part II, p. 364)

Age Suitability

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Last_Nights_Readings Nov 07, 2015

Last_Nights_Readings thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

b
bruce3miller
Aug 29, 2014

bruce3miller thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

r
RTaurus
Jun 28, 2014

RTaurus thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

m
mcla85
Jan 03, 2014

mcla85 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

m
Matthew Rohaly
Jun 26, 2013

Matthew Rohaly thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

c
cheesebread
Dec 11, 2012

cheesebread thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Summary

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m
michellelee_0
Jul 28, 2016

Star-crossed lovers and their search for each other in the midst of getting tangled up with murders and cults in a new fantasy world.

e
elinpat
Apr 24, 2012

Fantasy takes place in Japan. Parallel worlds. A page turner and a love story.

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