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1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
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1Q84 (edition 2012)

by Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin, Philip Gabriel

Series: 1Q84 (1-3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,7112041,410 (3.8)3 / 621
Member:calm
Title:1Q84
Authors:Haruki Murakami
Other authors:Jay Rubin, Philip Gabriel
Info:London : Harvill Secker, 2012.
Collections:borrowed, Read but unowned, reviewed, fiction
Rating:****1/2
Tags:fiction, translated, Japanese, read as two volumes, 12 in 12

Work details

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Recently added byBentheronin, arena35, antrat1965, KatCW, private library, mellu, JadeV10, AHS-Wolfy, ZackSeuberling
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English (187)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (4)  German (2)  Italian (2)  Catalan (1)  Greek (1)  Chinese, simplified (1)  All languages (203)
Showing 1-5 of 187 (next | show all)
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 |
Kindred's Reading Challenge: #11 A novel by Haruki Murakami
  LaMala | Jun 7, 2015 |
I so much wanted to rate this trilogy with 5 stars. Yet, parts of the third book disappointed me so terribly much I even stopped reading for a while to stare at the room wondering if I really just read what I read. Was there another author at work here? Did the translator do a terrible job on this section?

EDIT: I knew it! I just learnt that the third book was translated by another translator than the first two books. Strange how an impact this has had on my enjoying of the story...

Don't get me wrong. The story is absolutely wonderful and amazingly written. The only minor negative point, which I have read in several reviews, is the overly repetition of certain elements, like the books aren't meant to be read in a short span of time.

In the third book however, Murakami gets so clumsy at times (I can't find a better word than `clumsy') in weaving the stories of the two main characters together. In one chapter he even, for a single page in this 1300 page novel, changes the narrative point of view to the omniscient one! He then continues to struggle with the timelines of the characters' stories only barely keeping things together in a readable fashion. That was really a put-down to me.

Finally, the book seems to be heading for an anti-climax for a long time, but in the very end, I was kind of happy with the way things worked out after all.

Anyway, overall I must say I enjoyed these books very much. The first two books certainly hold one of the greatest stories I have ever read. So original, such compelling characters, such intricate mystery... absolutely amazing. Recommended for al fantasy lovers who are looking for something without dragons and elves. :-) ( )
  bbbart | May 30, 2015 |
What a fantastical waste of time. I think I am giving it the extra star because it had some good quotes but I feel like I lost several valuable reading hours in this. ( )
  aka_no_joou | May 19, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 187 (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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Original language

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:08 -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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