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1Q84: 3 Volume Boxed Set (Vintage…

1Q84: 3 Volume Boxed Set (Vintage International) (edition 2012)

by Haruki Murakami

Series: 1Q84 (1-3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,0991601,806 (3.82)3 / 550
Title:1Q84: 3 Volume Boxed Set (Vintage International)
Authors:Haruki Murakami
Info:Vintage (2012), Edition: Tra, Paperback, 1184 pages
Collections:Your library, Book, Group Reads, Completed in 2012
Tags:magical realism, Japanese literature, alternate reality

Work details

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami


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English (149)  Spanish (5)  Italian (2)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  All languages (160)
Showing 1-5 of 149 (next | show all)
Whew. I had to give this book three stars because it was SO. LONG. I have no issues with long books - but this just went on and on and on. Much of it could have been taken out. By the end of the book I didn't care about what happened to who or why. Which was what was so enjoyable about the beginning of the book.

This book is extremely cerebral. It requires effort (which again, is fine in and of itself) to put all the pieces together. Still we are left with loose strings, what happened to Fuka-Eri? Doctrines of Sakigate? The dowager? Tamatsu? In most pieces I would find the lack of an 'ending' (in regards to the loose ends) satisfying and mysterious in a good way - in this novel, it's just frustrating.

All that said, this novel is EXTREMELY well written - as far as style, syntax, and character development. The name dropping of famous literary works and authors is nice, along with drops of classical music.

Perhaps wait for an abridged version and go with that. .. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
Started me on a Murakami kick. One of the few books I press upon people. ( )
  auldtwa1 | Mar 14, 2014 |
Started me on a Murakami kick. One of the few books I press upon people. ( )
  auldtwa1 | Mar 14, 2014 |
This is the second Murakami book in the past month that I'm going to have to leave unfinished. I've given his a lot of thought and I have been pushing myself forward despite my feelings but I've decided that I just will not go any further.
I like Murakami's writing style in this book despite the molasses slow build up. This has required a ton of patience on my part as thus far the tale has been told from two different POVs and it is taking forever to see how those lives will intersect. Slow though it may be, there is something special about the writing that didn't entirely turn me off. Almost as if there is underlying text whispering for me to be patient.
The two protagonists (I read somewhere that there were to be three) are interesting enough. I like their seemingly normal yet not so much lives, and I like hearing their thoughts.
There are a couple of problems with the story though that pushed it into unbearable territory.
Firstly there is a boatload of repetition. Too much. Some passages seemed to have been repeated verbatim. 1Q84 is an enormous tome and as such there should be no fat in the prose. Not sure if this is due to translation or poor editing or if there is a point. I'll never know.
Secondly, there is a boatload (I'm in a boatload mood today) of ick factor stuff. Aomame one of the protagonists is, well, free with her love and Murakami doesn't spare us the details. I WANT TO BE SPARED THE DETAILS, thank you extremely much. My opinion, and this just MY opinion, is that these types of typically private encounters should be left private. I mean, you don't see many authors giving blow by blows of bowel movements, do you? In fact, I think it is the mark of a good writer if such h things can be imparted without providing a blow by blow.
Thirdly, there is a conversation that Aomame has with her friend in which her friend details, rather nonchalantly, incidences in her childhood wherein she is sexually molested by family members. Sorry.
That broke me.
I tried to get past that and then I asked myself, "why do I have to get past this?" I found that conversation.... well I have no words for it. Suffice it to say that I have two daughters and the idea that anyone would do such things, as detailed here, to an innocent child is repulsive, mind boggling, unacceptable, enraging, sick, and deserves a punishment worse than death.
So I'm moving on. Just done. Cooked. Finit.

I hate to say though, that this makes me a little sad. I've dropped at least four books in the last couple of months and I hate the thought that I'm not completing what I've started. But on the other hand, life is too short and literature is too abundant for me to get hemmed up with a tale that I do not like. So I won't.
  khaalidah | Mar 14, 2014 |
There is an amazing amount of description in this book about the food people eat – the decision what to have, the individual's preparation of the meal, the actual partaking of the food. I do not know if this is a particularly Japanese approach. If it is, then it falls on somewhat deaf ears for the American reader. But it does speak to two very important things about this book (and, when you really get down to it, Murakami's style.)

First, when you pick up any book that is over 900 pages, the first thought is that, perhaps, a more scissor-happy editor might have been beneficial. (Are you listening George R.R. Martin? At least there are not seven books in the series with no idea when each will come out. But I digress.) There was a time or two when I found myself being pulled from the lush descriptions because they were becoming too much - going on just a little too long.

But second – and most importantly – I really don't care if there was too much. Readers of Murakami are used to this style. He weaves descriptions into the narrative in a way that makes us truly see the landscape, the instant, the action (the non-action) that is occurring. And it is this ability for him to wrap us in his special universe that makes him the great talent he is.

And bringing the reader into a special universe is very important for this story to work, because we are literally in a new universe – one with two moons and "fairies" and realities that are slightly skewed from our own.

The novel starts with Aomame stuck in traffic. She has an important appointment to keep – a meeting with a man she will kill with expertise, silence, and justification. (This plot point happens soon enough that I do not put this statement in the "spoiler" category.) She jumps out of the stalled cab – traffic immobile – to climb down a set of stairs that will lead down from the road to a subway which will get her where she needs to go much more quickly. However, as the cab driver says, "...after you do something like that, the everyday look of things might seem to change a little...But don't let appearances fool you. There's always one reality."

At the same time there is Tengo. He is a struggling author who is helping go through the editorial slush pile for entries to a writing contest. He has found a very strange piece that, while not completely ready, still gets his attention. He passes it on to the editor and, eventually gets involved in rewriting the piece – an involvement that entangles him with the strange young girl who is the author.

The paths of these two protagonists are followed as they become eventually entwined in a somewhat unlikely manner. And yet, with the full characterization of the many ...characters... who populate this novel, with the full descriptions of scenes and life, and with building of verisimilitude in a situation where you might not think it should exist, it all seems as likely as any of us taking a breath.

I have already mentioned the strength of Murakami's style. But let me support it one more time. Sitting on a slide watching a full moon, the voice of a non-existent fee collector, the private detective, waiting with a father at the home while he lives his last days – these are just some of the images I cannot escape, even if I wanted to.

Nine hundred plus pages – and all of it powerful.

At its heart, this is a love story. However, it is one of the stranger ones you will read. (And, again, if you have read Murakami, it is exactly as strange as you would expect.)

Perhaps more importantly, it is quite simply one of the best books I have read in a very long time.

Yeah – there is a lot of talk about food. However, just like with the holidays, I'm willing to put up with a few too many meals in order to enjoy the full experience. ( )
  figre | Feb 23, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 149 (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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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
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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
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:08 -0400)

(see all 6 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)

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