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1Q84

by Haruki Murakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: 1Q84 (1-3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,825320942 (3.82)3 / 743
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.
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English (305)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (3)  Italian (2)  Catalan (2)  German (1)  Greek (1)  Chinese, simplified (1)  All languages (319)
Showing 1-5 of 305 (next | show all)
I think my reading would be greatly enriched by a better understanding of the cult movements in Japan. But undoubtedly a fascinating and creatively built world. ( )
  graceandbenji | Sep 1, 2022 |
I won't be reading another of Murakami's books anytime soon. I have read three including this one, a short story collection and The Wind-up Bird Chronicle and I don't want to read another and not like it. I feel like I am on the verge of that so best to give him a miss for a year or two.

Why? Because I have read several reviews that criticized this book but also others of his more recent books as being formulaic. I can see that. I felt there was a lot of repetition of similar character types, themes, typical Murakami tropes and references and there was this feeling like the book was written more for a popular audience.

The middle 1/3 of this book needed an editor...badly! It just kept going and going and going and I kept thinking when is this going to find an ending? It was like a Korean drama series that would have and should have ended well at episode 15 but the director finds strange ways to twist and extend the plot and the drama finally finishes at episode 30 and you watch it anyway and you keep wondering why.

That said, however, for me it did end well and, in the end it really is just an oddball love story. Book 3 finally found me not wanting to put it down and despite enduring the unendurable middle, the book ended in a way that I generally enjoyed. Something that really stood out for me was Tengo's relationship with his father and his first visit to the sanatorium where his father had committed himself. Tengo's straightforward critique of a father who was stubborn and narrow-minded and unable to show affection really hit home for me. It is not that his father was like one of my parents but just that Murakami, to me anyway, gave real depth to the character of Tengo.

Similarly for Aomame. For the majority of this book, the chapters are split between Tengo's story and Aomame's story and I found myself looking forward more to Aomame's chapters than to Tengo's. She also had a real depth that I liked but there is a point in the story where I felt the Aomame character that Murakami created changed drastically, at least for the final 1/3 of the book, and this seemed inconsistent to me. I am trying to avoid being specific so as not spoil the book.

I am torn between a 3 and a 4 but I am going to say it was a 3.75 and round up to a 4 just because of the last 1/3 of the book. ( )
  DarrinLett | Aug 14, 2022 |
Has all of the usual Murakami elements: women's ears, classical and jazz music references, descriptions of cooking, daily errands spiralling into surreal journeys. A little short on cats, though.

Not as dazzling as [b:Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World|1910253|Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World|Haruki Murakami|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1355538651s/1910253.jpg|2531870] or [b:A Wild Sheep Chase|46134|A Wild Sheep Chase|Haruki Murakami|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1377257806s/46134.jpg|2057170], but a welcome change from the slump of monotonous novels that started with [b:The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle|11275|The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle|Haruki Murakami|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1327872639s/11275.jpg|2531376].

Kinda wonder how much of this story has been germinating since [b:Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche|229173|Underground The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche|Haruki Murakami|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1386919583s/229173.jpg|6179816].

But of course the only real question anyone has is, "is it worth the slog?"
Yes. Yes, indeed. ( )
  mkfs | Aug 13, 2022 |
this is, perhaps, an unfair star rating, as, given for the whole trilogy, it doesn't fully demonstrate my opinion of each book, which vary so greatly from each other that they deserve different ratings, different reviews, different emotions flying out of me at the finish of each one. the emotion that i'm trying to reign in right now, having just finished the last book, is akin to anger. why? what's that all about? good question. i'm not so sure myself.

the first book took some time to get going, and i started wondering if the rest would be so slow-moving, or if stated, discussed, and planned actions would ever take place. there's a lot of talk in this one, and a lot of exposition. the second book got off at a rollicking pace, and i got sufficiently pulled in. things were happening, in surprising ways, and sooner than i thought possible, or was ready for. and then the third book stopped it all dead, tossing away the momentum of the cliffhanger that ended its predecessor, adding another perspective to the story-telling mix, so now the same events were being recounted from three different, but annoying similar, points of view.

i started to think, at the beginning of the first book, that maybe this didn't need to be three books -- with a good editor, it could be cut down to one, albeit a big one. now i really think that. facts are re-stated over and over, as if murakami was certain we would have forgotten about tengo's father's job or ushikawa's ugliness or aomame's dead friend (not a spoiler - it's mentioned in the first chapter), or any other number of things. sure, sometimes a second (or third, or fourth) mention adds some information, but surely that information could have been added in a more subtle way. at one point, murakami bends the fourth wall to tell us it's good something happened that way, because otherwise this other thing would have happened -- a device that destroys all possibility of the joy of figuring that out for ourselves. and a few very deep mysteries are answered point-blank with a toss-off line, which pissed me off more than anything. more, even, than the mysteries i thought would be answered a certain way that were never mentioned again.

more, even, than the weird child rape plot devices, which i don't even want to get into right now.

but this is the review of someone who just spent a few hours holding up a brick of a book in aching hands, trying to get through the repetition, cursing at the the pages the whole time. i think if i let these books sit inside me for a while, i may feel differently. we'll see.

book 1 -- three stars
book 2 -- four stars
book 3 -- two stars ( )
  J.Flux | Aug 13, 2022 |
This is the second Murakami novel I've read -- after Kafka on the Shore -- and I have to say, I still don't quite understand the appeal. Kafka was at least kind of weirdly compelling for its strange, dreamlike, intriguing-if-not-exactly-satisfying plot. But, well, this one also has a strange, dreamlike, intriguing-if-not-exactly-satisfying plot -- featuring cults and mysterious tiny people and some kind of alternate world(?) with two moons in the sky, and a bunch of weird sex stuff -- but it kind of feels to me like the whole thing just gets muffled under the weight of so many unnecessary words that it can barely breathe. Because this thing is 1,157 pages, and while there may be novels that genuinely need 1,157 pages, this is absolutely not one of them. Hell, I can't help honestly, truly wondering if Murakami set himself the challenge of writing a novel that long and was just determined to make it happen by any means necessary. Which, in this case, involves things like frequent repetition of the same information or thoughts, and characters who make a habit of constantly repeating parts of whatever someone's just said to them. It's not quite an elementary school student writing "very, very, very, very, very" in order to hit a minimum word count on an assignment, but it sure brings that to mind, anyway. Also, he could probably have saved at least a hundred pages if he'd cut out all the obsessing over his characters' breasts, and I, for one, would have appreciated it.

Despite all that snarkiness, this isn't actually bad. There really is something at least somewhat interesting in its bizarre imagery. And Murakami's prose is clean and readable and flows along just fine from page to page. (Credit to his English translator for that, too, by the way. I think this reads better and more naturally than a lot of books in translation do.) Still, by the end I just kind of... needed it to be over. And that's never a particularly gratifying feeling to end a novel with. ( )
2 vote bragan | Jul 15, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 305 (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.
 

» Add other authors (23 possible)

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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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.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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

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Average: (3.82)
0.5 6
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