Book Review: 1Q84 by Haruki Muramaki

Title: 1Q84
Author: Haruki Murakami
Rating: 3/5

Summary: Japanese writer Haruki Murakami is recognized already as one of the foremost masters of postmodern literature. This 928-page novel might be his magnum opus. Its odd title plays on the Japanese pronunciation of 1984 and thus on the title of George Orwell’s novel, to which it is a homage. A Japanese reviewer described it as “a complex and surreal narrative [which] shifts back and forth between tales of two characters, a man and a woman, who are searching for each other.” Very little about 1Q84 is predictable; the female narrator is an assassin and the male is an unpublished writer who has agreed to rewrite a manuscript which may or may not have been written by a teenager who may or may not be dyslexic. Encoded within the puzzles of this major work are the author’s insightful commentaries on Japanese and American culture. (Murakami has lived in the United States since 1986.)

Review:  This is the first book I’ve read by this author, and I’m not overly thrilled with it truth be told.  Three stars, yes, but I wouldn’t go higher than that.  It was excessive to the point that about three hundred to three hundred and fifty pages could be removed without altering the story.  There is some repetitiveness that drives me up the wall, because it makes me think that the Author doubts my ability to remember certain details about the main characters Aomame and Tengo.  It isn’t a simple story, and this is something expected from this Author, but as this is my first glimpse into his writing, but not to him, as I’ve seen the movie adaptation of Norwegian Wood, I kind of had an inkling of what I was delving into.  Despite the repetition and excessive detailing I did enjoy it, and I’m not even going to pretend to understand the genre of Magical Realism.

The characters of Aomame and Tengo unfold throughout the story and you cannot help but love them, cannot help but enjoy their little quirks, flaws and their personalities.

The book was long, one of the top five longest I’ve read this year, I am quite pleased to have read the book and venture into the parallel world of 1Q84.  I perhaps will delve into other books by this author and see if any of them strike my fancy.  If you’ve plenty of spare time and looking for a  story that is decent in its oddity about two people, then this book is for you.

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: 1Q84 by Haruki Muramaki

  1. I think this is one of those cases where you either like it or don’t. I’ve read Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore and absolutely love it; it is one of my all-time favourite books. I don’t think anything Murakami writes is simple or predictable. I also find that I can never rush through one of his books …

  2. I think this is one of those cases where you either like it or you don’t. I’ve read Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore. It was amazing, beautifully written (which is important to me) and its one of my all-time favourite books. There is nothing simple or predictable about Murakami’s stories. And I think one simply cannot rush through reading one of his books …

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