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1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
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1Q84 (edition 2011)

by Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (Translator), Philip Gabriel (Translator)

Series: 1Q84 (1-3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,7822051,377 (3.8)3 / 625
Member:noblechicken
Title:1Q84
Authors:Haruki Murakami
Other authors:Jay Rubin (Translator), Philip Gabriel (Translator)
Info:Knopf (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 944 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

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English (190)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (4)  Italian (2)  Catalan (1)  Chinese, simplified (1)  Greek (1)  German (1)  All languages (205)
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
This is a very long and very odd book, but it's very readable and engaging. I am happy to suspend disbelief and just enjoy the ride with Murakami books - I know inexplicable things will happen, I know there will be cats and pasta and jazz and ears. This was no exception, and I really enjoyed it. The chapters mostly alternate between the 2 main narrators. I felt quite strong deja vu reading about their childhoods and the bits set in Ichikawa where I used to live. There were many memorable characters, I particularly liked Tamaru. It led to a good book group discussion as there were diverse opinions and interpretations of it. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Jul 12, 2015 |
1Q84 is certainly an epic read! I found parts of it fascinating and thought provoking, but I was also glad to get it over with after 1000+ pages. I think it is in need of a lot of editing, in parts it rambles on unnecessarily. Many of Murakami's books since have had the same sort of epic adventure, but have been so much leaner and well honed. Nothing beats his crazy imagination though, and the main characters are certainly loveable. The story for me is a meditation on fate and how we can sometimes be in the right place at the right time, sometimes not. It is also very much a writers view of the world where fiction can become reality. I'm still glad I can move on now though! ( )
  Estramir | Jul 11, 2015 |
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. ( )
1 vote GrlIntrrptdRdng | Jun 28, 2015 |
1Q84 is an ambitious novel that features a host of interesting characters living in an alternate reality. It is no longer 1984, but 1Q84. 1Q84 (the novel) is rife with typical Murakami motifs: the solitary protagonist, enigmatic women, alternate realities, nostalgic childhood love, magical realism/surrealism mixed with the mundane, flashes of violence - it's one of Murakami's most dynamic novels, but it's not the novel I would recommend to first time Murakami readers (try Norwegian Wood of A Wild Sheep Chase.) There's a lot of subplots that work in some places an other times seem a bit too tedious. There are a lot of loose ends here as well (who was the mysterious NHK worker? What happened to Tsubasa? Or Fuka-Eri for that matter?) Is 1Q84 a love story? A mystery? A surreal jaunt into parallel realities? Yes, yes and yes. And more.

I honestly had a hard time finishing this book, there was just too much happening and it was hard to recall each and every character that appeared on the page. It's a pretty good book, if you have the time and patience. I'm a devoted Murakami fan, so I made myself finish the book. I don't consider it Murakami's masterpiece (that would be The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, imho) but it's a entertaining read for fans and others who enjoy, or can at least tolerate, convoluted plots and numerous well-drawn characters. I'm giving this 3.5 stars; it was a good book, but it just didn't grab me like his others novels have. ( )
  ghostwire | Jun 15, 2015 |
Murakami does it again in his newest book, 1Q84. He throws the reader into this weird world with these weird characters, and you are left to fend for yourself as you try to understand what's happening around you. From the very beginning of the novel, you get that sense that you are about to dive into the world that you probably already like Murakami for.

"The driver chose his words carefully. 'It's just that you're about to do something out of the ordinary...Right. And after you do something like that, the everyday look of things might seem to change a little. Things may look different to you than they did before. I've had that experience myself. But don't let appearances fool you. There's always only one reality.'"

If you've ever read or hear about George Orwelle's book 1984, then you might get some of the references, especially when the characters themselves reference the book. Hence, that's where the name of the book comes from. For example, in 1984, you're placed in an alternate world where big brother is watching. But in 1Q84, you are thrown into a world there the little people are watching. It's up to you to figure out just what exactly that means.

The characters, in my opinion, are a bit more developed than I've seen in some of his other books. They actually have a drive and motivation to accomplish a goal, and I felt more connected with them. We get a bit more insight into what's going on in their own hearts.

"There is nothing in this world that never takes a step outside a person's heart," Leader repeated softly.

The challenges that they go through, and the adventure that they must face...I appreciated all of it. Granted, this was a really long book, and took me nearly two months to read. But don't let the length of it sound daunting...it's worth it.

And two more of my favorite quotes:

"Wherever there's hope there's a trial," Aomame said.

"To get something important, people have to pay a price. That's the rule the world operates by." ( )
  jms001 | Jun 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 190 (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)
 
1Q84 is definitely worth checking out if you enjoy fiction set in fantasy worlds with a deep love story that brings up the questions of fate and pure, true love.
added by alluvia | editExaminer.com, Kristin Wilson (Jan 14, 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.”
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gabriel, PhilipTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holm, MetteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rubin, JayTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
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
Dedication
First words
The taxi's radio was tuned to a classical FM broadcast.
Quotations
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
Blurbers
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary
Go down the stairway
The world is not quite the same
Two moons in the sky
(jannes)
Assassin, cult, love,
two moons over Tokyo.
"Not all wounds gush blood".
(Jenni_Canuck)
Q-teen eighty-four,
Two moons o’er Aomame,
Weird Little People.

With Fuka-Eri,
Authoring Air Chrysalis,
Takes two to Tengo.

(PoetVictoria)

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 7 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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