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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
3,4751851,530 (3.81)3 / 604
Member:sinivalas42
Title:1Q84
Authors:Haruki Murakami
Other authors:Jay Rubin (Translator), Philip Gabriel (Translator)
Info:Knopf (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 944 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Gone
Rating:**
Tags:fiction

Work details

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Recently added bypessoar, private library, d_137, Philipp.Rudiger, Likuo, tfcred, carrieprice78, JOlson724, marybrett
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English (172)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (3)  Italian (2)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  Chinese, simplified (1)  All languages (185)
Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)
I'd say it's fairly impossible to review this book with facts without giving details best discovered by the reader, so I'll stick to my thoughts about the quality of the book and it's writing.

In this novel, Murakami crafts an elegant and often times gripping story that some inexperienced readers could find treacherous as they try to follow it's trail. Leading a frustrating group discussion of this book, I found that most people complained that they felt the pacing was too slow, and that the use of repetition was tiresome. Others felt that it was a cultural artifact. I beg to differ. The story involves repetition, of things inside other things, worlds inside of worlds. It's a nested argument, and like math, there must be the correct number of closing parentheses or risk breaking the balanced equation.

At times, the prose is somewhat sparse, and nearing the end (but NOT the end) there were moments where I felt some slack in the text, but the patient reader (ok, you don't have to be VERY patient, it's a short part) is rewarded by the last 5% or so of the book being gripping to point (for me) of high suspense. The characters are unique, compelling, and believable, despite being in a strange place on some strange days. No, you don't live next door to these people, so comparing them to your neighbors is a somewhat pointless endeavor destined for a disappointment which having undertaken, you will deserve. Enjoy these people for who they aren't, if you like.

It's not the perfect novel, of course, and few are. But I found this to be FAR better than 90% of what you'll encounter, and certainly comparing this book to many currently popular books is a waste of time. This is better. If you don't like foie gras, then go eat the hotdog you're complaining it isn't. But let me enjoy the texture of this. ( )
  wjmcomposer | Nov 5, 2014 |
I'd say it's fairly impossible to review this book with facts without giving details best discovered by the reader, so I'll stick to my thoughts about the quality of the book and it's writing.

In this novel, Murakami crafts an elegant and often times gripping story that some inexperienced readers could find treacherous as they try to follow it's trail. Leading a frustrating group discussion of this book, I found that most people complained that they felt the pacing was too slow, and that the use of repetition was tiresome. Others felt that it was a cultural artifact. I beg to differ. The story involves repetition, of things inside other things, worlds inside of worlds. It's a nested argument, and like math, there must be the correct number of closing parentheses or risk breaking the balanced equation.

At times, the prose is somewhat sparse, and nearing the end (but NOT the end) there were moments where I felt some slack in the text, but the patient reader (ok, you don't have to be VERY patient, it's a short part) is rewarded by the last 5% or so of the book being gripping to point (for me) of high suspense. The characters are unique, compelling, and believable, despite being in a strange place on some strange days. No, you don't live next door to these people, so comparing them to your neighbors is a somewhat pointless endeavor destined for a disappointment which having undertaken, you will deserve. Enjoy these people for who they aren't, if you like.

It's not the perfect novel, of course, and few are. But I found this to be FAR better than 90% of what you'll encounter, and certainly comparing this book to many currently popular books is a waste of time. This is better. If you don't like foie gras, then go eat the hotdog you're complaining it isn't. But let me enjoy the texture of this. ( )
  wjmcomposer | Nov 5, 2014 |
The story takes place in Tokyo in 1984 and like other books by Murakami has many of the same themes, symbols and imagery. Music plays a big part in the author’s books, and he makes reference to many composers and musicians of the past, ranging from Bach, Vivaldi and Leoš Janáček (his Sinfonietta popping up many times at crucial points in the novel) to more contemporary artists such as Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus and The Rolling Stones. The song Paper Moon is an Asian song and also has a major part besides the Sinfonietta. Besides music there are many references to literature such as Chekov, Tolstoy, Hemingway and Proust.

The story is a love story, a mystery and suspense novel, a parallel universe and also has a lot of philosophical and social commentaries and it is a fine example of Japanese magical realism.

I really enjoyed the story and thought it was his best work but maybe I am wrong. Some reviewers think it is his weakest. It was suspenseful, pulled you in and you wanted to keep reading to learn more of the mysteries which were slowly revealed.

What I didn’t like would be the strong sexual content that you get in a Murakami novel and I also thought the ending was weak. Where it should have been the most tense, it was actually quite uneventful. Some things were left unexplained so that could also be bothersome though I didn’t find it that annoying.

I thought the narration was good. The story was back and forth between narrators with most narration either by Tango or Aomame but also Ushikawa. ( )
  Kristelh | Oct 12, 2014 |
Brilliant book. Good writing. I felt transported into 1980s Tokyo. Happy it was long and didn't end quickly!

The happy ending was the frosting on the cake. ( )
  KateRobinson | Oct 4, 2014 |
Recommended for high school but 1000 pages?
  FaithLibrarian | Sep 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 172 (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 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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