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1Q84: Books 1 and 2 by Haruki Murakami
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1Q84: Books 1 and 2 (original 2009; edition 2012)

by Haruki Murakami

Series: 1Q84 (1-2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
978None8,773 (4.07)9
Member:LadyViolet
Title:1Q84: Books 1 and 2
Authors:Haruki Murakami
Info:Vintage (2012), Paperback, 816 pages
Collections:Your library, 75 Book Challenge 2013
Rating:****1/2
Tags:Fiction, Literary, Translation, Series, Book 1, Book 2, 75 Book 2013

Work details

1Q84 : books one and two by Haruki Murakami (2009)

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» See also 9 mentions

English (23)  Spanish (6)  Italian (4)  German (4)  French (2)  Catalan (2)  Norwegian (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (44)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
"Al centro del mio essere non c'è il vuoto. E nemmeno uno spazio arido e desolato. Al centro del mio essere c'è l'amore." ( )
  Kazegafukuhi | Aug 10, 2013 |
(Note: I've tried to avoid spoilers, except those which are already given on the book's cover!)

Imagine the following scenario: the young Lewis Carroll's publisher is sent Alice's Adventures Through the Looking Glass as an entry for a prestigious writer's prize. He contacts Carroll, and finally cajoles him into doing a major rewrite of the book, as it's "a compelling story but badly written". Carroll insists on meeting Alice first, to get her agreement to this 'publishing fraud'. Alice turns out to be a beautiful but very enigmatic and taciturn young girl; after meeting Carroll, she agrees to the project.
Carroll becomes absorbed in the story, and his rewrite of it. The book wins the prize, becomes a best-seller, and Alice becomes a media darling. Then she disappears suddenly. Carroll has already found himself drawn into her life, but more than that - he is drawn into the very world she depicts in her story…
This, in essence, is the meat of one half of Murakami's classic. The names of course are different (the novel has nothing to do with Lewis Carroll or Alice - that was just my reviewer's fantasy), but the creation of a fantastical 'other world', which is contained within this one, is one of Murakami's trademarks.
The other half of the novel is the story of a young woman who - at the prompting of an eccentric wealthy dowager, commits acts of 'final revenge' upon men who have irredeemably committed acts of unspeakable violence against women. This young woman - Aomame - at first seems to be entirely separate from Tengo (the young writer), and Murakami alternates chapters between each of them. As the story develops however, we find that the two are inextricably linked, stemming back to a moment in a classroom when both were 10 years old, even though their lives diverged after that.
1Q84 is Murakami's classic. As the virtual inventor of the magic realism genre, he brilliantly constructs a believable world where the boundaries of fiction and reality blur. To give just one example : after Tengo gradually realises that he is in the world depicted by Fuka-Eri (the "Alice" character), he recognises that there are elements of it that weren't in her original story, but which he himself had added as part of his rewrite. Aomame, too, finds disturbing differences in the familiar world (policemens' uniforms have suddenly changed, for example), and spends time in the library reading past newspaper reports trying to find out major events she "knows" didn't actually happen, at least, not in the world she is familiar with. And she sees two moons in the sky…
Murakami's genius is to bring utterly surreal elements - complete fantasy - into our everyday world, and make them believable. His characters continue to commute to work, prepare and eat meals, form relationships and have sex; everything in fact, which one would expect from a standard work. His central characters are, as always, self-aware and self-critical, yet outsiders too : they live in our everyday ordinary world, but somehow stand apart in some way. Tengo had an unhappy childhood and prefers to live on his own, with few luxuries and contented with his spare life: a frustrated maths genius and would-be author who teaches in a cram school. Aomame is even more stripped down; despite being a highly competent martial arts instructor, her apartment is bare, and she forms very few relationships. She loves only the 'boy in the classroom she met when she was 10 years old', but she doesn't try to find him, believing they may someday 'meet by chance'.
Murakami blends the fictional and the real together, weaves the mundane and the fantastic seamlessly, such that you never feel for even a moment that you are not in the real, everyday world. You enter the lives of his ordinary yet extraordinary characters and you know them. You ARE them. That's his genius. ( )
  Tid | Jul 25, 2013 |
1Q84 is a real tour de force of a novel, mixing present day surreality with sci-fi, long lost love, and the tenacity of self-belief. I remember seeing the book in Japanese when we were in Tokyo long before it was published in the UK and wishing that I could read Japanese well enough to tackle Murakami in his native tongue. But the wait for the translation was worth it. ( )
  missizicks | Apr 2, 2013 |
Il libro mi �� piaciuto moltissimo fino ai tre quarti della lettura; alla fine l'entusiasmo �� un p�� calato e non mi �� rimasta questa impresssione meravigliosa. Si tratta comunque di un libro molto piacevole. Alla fine, credo che dance, dance, dance resti il mio preferito di Murakami ( )
  david-e | Apr 1, 2013 |
This review will also consider 1q84 vol 3. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, 1Q84 is big very big and just as you think that you understand it it gets stranger. It is physically big, spilling into three volumes (with no less than 300 pages each). Since I have the Kindle version, I have no idea how much it weighs but I am betting it's not light weight. Its scope is surreal, (view spoiler). Thematically, it's large, covering; publishing, writing, gender, religion, cults, domestic violence, memory and revenge (just to name a few of its' themes). It also crosses many genre borders; literary fiction, magic realism, romance, mystery, horror, weird fiction, world fiction, Japanese fiction and (maybe) epic fantasy. I suggest that you plunge in feet first (or heart first) and enjoy bathing in this warm bath of a book. (thanks for the two headed god of Sword and Laser for that metaphor) ( )
  Vikz.Richards | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Amitrano, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
It's a Barnum and Bailey world,
Just as phony as it can be,
But it wouldn't be make-believe
If you believed in me.
"It's Only a Paper Moon" (E.Y. Harburg & Harold Arlen)
Dedication
First words
The taxi's radio was tuned to a Classical FM broadcast.
Quotations
Last words
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.

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Book description
Haiku summary
Two moons in the sky.
She's irretrievably lost.
He's in the cat town.
(PhileasHannay)

No descriptions found.

When books one and two of his Murakami's masterpiece, '1Q84', were published in Japan, they sold out in one day, and the critical acclaim that ensued was reported all over the globe. The book transfixes readers by telling the story of Aomame and Tengo and the strange parallel universe they inhabit.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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