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1q84( 3 Volume Boxed Set)[1Q84][Paperback]…

1q84( 3 Volume Boxed Set)[1Q84][Paperback] (edition 2012)

by Haruki Murakami (Author)

Series: 1Q84 (1-3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,351250819 (3.84)3 / 687
Title:1q84( 3 Volume Boxed Set)[1Q84][Paperback]
Authors:Haruki Murakami (Author)
Info:VintageBooks (2012)

Work details

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami


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English (233)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (4)  Catalan (2)  Italian (2)  German (1)  Greek (1)  All (1)  All (249)
Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)
My brain is a big thing of mush right now. 1Q84 is a long book, it’s really three books, but this edition (I think all American editions) combine them into one book. This is the first Haruki Murakami book I have read, which everyone seems to oppose saying this isn’t a good introduction to his work and some go as far as to say don’t read it unless you’re really a fan of his, but I’m grown. Don’t tell me how to read. Besides I love George Orwell’s 1984 so it only made sense for me to start here with Haruki Murakami.

I am going to attempt to summarize this mammoth now. The year is 1984, Aomame is on her way to an assignment and is stuck in traffic on the expressway, she leaves her cab and goes down an emergency staircase, she emerges into 1Q84. She is a gym instructor, but also works for the Dowager killing abusive men, without leaving a mark and making it look natural. Our other character is Tengo, he teaches math and writes fiction. Him and Aomame knew each other in school and were in the same class for 2 years, they weren’t friends or even talked but, when they were both 10 Tengo defends Aomame and later she grabs his hand. This even both stuck with them for the next 20 years. Tengo gets involved ghost re-writing a 17 year old girl’s, Fuka-Eri, story about the religious compound (Sakigake) she ran away from. He thinks this is just a story, but it is very real. The Little People control everything and the leader (Fuka-Eri’s father) can hear them. Fuka-Eri’s guardian is using her book as a way to create publicity for the girl and then have her go in hiding to force police to look into Sakigake’s compound to find out about what happened to her parents. Sakigake is upset at the book selling and wants to put a stop to it going after Tengo. Meanwhile, Aomame is assigned to kill the leader of Sakigake because he is raping girls who haven’t had their period and using religion as an excuse to do so. The leader wants her to kill him, he explains why he had sex with those girls and the role of The Little People. He knows about Aomame’s longing for Tengo and tells her Tengo feels the same way, but that they can’t be together, she either has to kill the leader and Tengo lives, but she is hunted by Sakigake, or she lets the leader live and Sakigake continues to go after Tengo. She kills the leader and goes into hiding. The rest of the book is Tengo searching for Aomame, Aomame is in hiding, but also watching for Tengo, and Sakigake closing in on Aomame and understanding how to get to her through Tengo.

There is so much more to the book that my loose summary, but that’s the build up to the end. Like I said it is a long book, but it’s a good book and really gets you interested. I didn’t mind the length of the book until towards the end, the 3rd book is definitely they weakest section, but it’s still good. There is repetitiveness, but that’s expected since it was originally a series, books always gotta remind readers a little bit what happened before (but if you are reading all 3 in a row it feels unnecessary). When a book is over 1k pages long and the author is giving out long descriptions of characters cooking food, you want to scream (he didn’t do it too much though, but still). The plot is interesting. It’s a slow build up and then drops big revelations fast at a good pace, it keeps you hooked. There is great background to the characters and just a lot of depth to Aomame and Tengo. It’s not just reading about their lives for the events in the main plot, but also their past and what they are like in their life when it doesn’t surround the plot of the story. It has fantasy elements, but it’s like reading everyday life. It’s a satisfying read, the time and effort going into reading 1Q84 is worth it. ( )
  GrlIntrrptdRdng | May 28, 2018 |
I can't really recommend this book unless you are a Murakami fan already. (If you're not, read The Wind Up Bird Chronicle instead.) It is so long that I felt like I was running a marathon trying to finish it. The prose is chilly and distancing (although I never know whether that is Murakami or his translators). The plot is opaque. And someone should definitely win one of those Bad Sex Writing awards for this book.

Having said that, there are lots of intriguing scenes and moments, I liked the character of Aomame a lot, and I did care about what happened to her and to Tengo. I'm not sure that is enough to justify the kind of time commitment you have to put into this book, though. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
A real masterpiece that kept me reading, hard to put down. Right from the beginning, the woman in the taxi going to assassinate a bad guy. This book contained a familiar theme for Murakami - longing for a close friend or loved one from much earlier in life. In 1Q84, the two main characters were in love in school, then estranged by circumstances, now they are adults. The book follows them in the present, keeping us in suspense about whether they will meet in the end. Lots of magical realism, as usual for Murakami, along with suspense and mystery. Highly recommended. Such a great writer with his highly readable style, draws you in immediately because he generally begins his novels in some immediate, concrete setting where suspense and mystery are immediately created. ( )
  MitchMcCrimmon | Apr 27, 2018 |
Although I'm giving this book 4 stars, it's not one I'd recommend to everyone. As with all Murakami books, it's quite bizarre. It's long (over 900 pages; 38 CDs on audio), and it is at times tedious and unnecessarily repetitive. There's also a rather annoying fixation on female breasts. Still, there's something about Murakami's writing and the vivid, dream-like atmosphere he creates that I find mesmerizing.
( )
  Brightraven | Apr 26, 2018 |
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami After reading most of Haruki Murakami's oeuvre, it's safe to say that he is my favorite living writer. At his best, he can paint a picture with words, adding layer after layer of description to a canvas that, as a whole, avoids becoming dense or encrusted, but rather maintains both delicacy and depth simultaneously. His characters can often be both non-descript and unique, which he often achieves with a simple parenthetical: "In order to flee from responsibility, Tengo learned early on in life to make himself inconspicuous. He worked hard to negate his presence by publicly displaying very little of his true abilities, by keeping his opinions to himself, and by avoiding situations that put him at the center of attention...It was necessary for him to keep such contrivances in mind at all times, like the orphans in Dicken's novels." 1Q84 is a long novel in three books. Like many of Murakami's works, it involves fantastical elements and synchronicities, not to say, coincidences. It would probably be going too far to describe it as a work of magical realism. I often prefer to think of some of his fantastic contrivances as metaphors--I'm thinking of his "INKlings" from the earlier Hard-Boiled Wonderland. In 1Q84, one can only do that for so long before "air chrysalises" run into actual "little people." But Murakami-lovers must have the fortitude to get beyond, or behind, such details. Murakami is known for building his stories around an earlier novelistic archetype--e.g., his Kafka at the Shore is primarily an Oedipus story. 1Q84 is obviously riffing on Orwell's 1984, and it carefully builds and maintains throughout the oppressive mood created by Orwell's surveillance machinery. Further, 1Q84 is similarly a romance, though in this case a decades long romance between an assassin avenging the wrongs suffered by the abused and molested, and a gifted, yet not overly successful, math teacher and novelist, neither of whom has been able to surpass their life-changing grade-school encounter. And this, all set against the machinations of a fanatic and powerful cult, bent on controlling the actions of these characters and those close to them. The first two books were set up as opposing third person narratives of the stories of the two main characters, and their inter-connections. I went through the set-up, and middle portions of the book--i.e., books one and two--like the proverbial knife through butter. But in the third book, where Murakami should have continued to cleave quickly while building forcefully to his conclusion, he chose to add a third perspective--that of the representative of the afore-mentioned surveillance machinery. This character was himself, quite interesting. I enjoyed seeing this weird world through his eyes. Unfortunately, the third perspective, meant the story began jumping back and forward on three tracks. It became a chore to decipher where we were in each characters stories. At this point, I put the book down for an extended period of rest and recuperation. Eventually, though, I had to know the end of the story: Would the lovers end up like Orwell's victims of the machine? I expected so, and was haunted by that potential. I won't spoil the resolution, but however it came out--and it did include elements that were macabre at best, I was quite satisfied with the conclusion. In sum, while not my favorite of Murakami's novels, I probably prefer Wind-up Bird or Kafka, or possibly, Norwegian Wood, I consider this 1157 page door-stop, well-worth anyone's time. ( )
  Teiresias1960 | Feb 24, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)
Murakami name-drops George Orwell's laugh-riot 1984 several times. Both books deal with the concept of manipulated realities. And while Murakami's book is more than three times as long, it's also more fun to read.
added by WeeklyAlibi | editWeekly Alibi, John Bear (Jan 26, 2012)
As always, the experience is a bit like watching a Hollywood-influenced Japanese movie in a version that’s been dubbed by American actors. This time, sad to say, it also reminded me of stretches of the second season of Twin Peaks: familiar characters do familiar things, with the expected measure of weirdness, but David Lynch has squabbled with the network and left the show.
I finished 1Q84 feeling that its spiritual project was heroic and beautiful, that its central conflict involved a pitched battle between realism and unrealism (while being scrupulously fair to both sides), and that, in our own somewhat unreal times, younger readers, unlike me, would have no trouble at all believing in the existence of Little People and replicants. What they may have trouble with is the novel’s absolute faith in the transformative power of love.
One of the many longueurs in Haruki Murakami’s stupefying new novel, “1Q84,” sends the book’s heroine, a slender assassin named Aomame, into hiding. To sustain her through this period of isolation she is given an apartment, groceries and the entirety of Marcel Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past.”

For pity’s sake, if you have that kind of spare time, follow her lead. Aomame has the chance to read a book that is long and demanding but well worth the effort. The very thought of Aomame’s situation will pain anyone stuck in the quicksand of “1Q84.” You, sucker, will wade through nearly 1,000 uneventful pages while discovering a Tokyo that has two moons and is controlled by creatures that emerge from the mouth of a dead goat. These creatures are called Little People. They are supposed to be very wise, even though the smartest thing they ever say is “Ho ho.”
1Q84 is psychologically unconvincing and morally unsavory, full of lacunas and loose ends, stuffed to the gills with everything but the kitchen sink and a coherent story. By every standard metric, it is gravely flawed. But, I admit, standard metrics are difficult to apply to Murakami. It's tempting to write that out of five stars, I'd give this book two moons.

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dean, SuzanneCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gabriel, PhilipTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holm, MetteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rubin, JayTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It's a Barnum and Bailey world,
just as phoney as it can be,
But it wouldn't be make-believe
if you believed in me

"It's Only a Paper Moon,"
~~ Billy Rose and E. Y. "Yip" Harburg
First words
The taxi's radio was tuned to a classical FM broadcast.
I'm taking you straight to bald heaven, nonstop.
Don't let appearances fool you. There's always only one reality.
Please remember: things are not what they seem.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the smell of evil
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is those works (sets, single-volume editions) containing the complete text of 1Q84. Please do not combine with any single volumes from multi-book versions.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary
Assassin, cult, love,
two moons over Tokyo.
"Not all wounds gush blood".

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307593312, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2011: The year is 1984, but not for long. Aomame, on her way to meet a client--the gravid implications of which only come clear later--sits in a taxi, stuck in traffic. On a lark, she takes the driver's advice, bolts from the cab, walks onto the elevated Tokyo expressway, descends an emergency ladder to the street below, and enters a strange new world.

In parallel, a math teacher and aspiring novelist named Tengo gets an interesting offer. His editor has come upon an entry for a young writer's literary prize, a story that, despite its obvious stylistic drawbacks, strikes a deeply moving chord with those who've read it. Its author is a mysterious 17-year-old, and the editor proposes that Tengo quietly rewrite the story for the final round of the competition.

So begins Haruki Murakami's magnus opus, an epic of staggering proportions. As the tale progresses, it folds in a deliciously intriguing cast of characters: a physically repulsive private investigator, a wealthy dowager with a morally ambiguous mission, her impeccably resourceful bodyguard, the leader of a somewhat obscure and possibly violent religious organization, a band of otherworldly "Little People," a door-to-door fee collector seemingly immune to the limits of space and time, and the beautiful Fuka-Eri: dyslexic, unfathomable, and scarred.

Aomame names her new world "1Q84" in honor of its mystery: "Q is for 'question mark.' A world that bears a question.'" Weaving through it, central motifs--the moon, Janáček's Sinfonietta, George Orwell's 1984--acquire powerful resonance, and Aomame and Tengo's paths take on a conjoined life of their own, dancing with a protracted elegance that requires nearly 1,000 pages to reach its crowning denouement.

1Q84 was a runaway best seller in its native Japan, but it's more instructive to frame the book's importance in other ways. For one, it's hard not to compare it to James Joyce's Ulysses. Both enormous novels mark their respective author's most ambitious undertaking by far, occupy an artificially discrete unit of time (Ulysses, one day; 1Q84, one year), and can be read as having a narrative structure that evinces an almost quantum-mechanical relationship to reality, which is not to say that either author intended this.

More to the point, the English translation of 1Q84--easily the grandest work of world literature since Roberto Bolaño's 2666--represents a monstrous literary event. Now would somebody please award Murakami his Nobel Prize? --Jason Kirk

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:16 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

An ode to George Orwell's "1984" told in alternating male and female voices relates the stories of Aomame, an assassin for a secret organization who discovers that she has been transported to an alternate reality, and Tengo, a mathematics lecturer and novice writer.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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