Haruki Murakami
“Murakami is like a magician who explains what he’s doing as he performs the trick and still makes you believe he has supernatural powers . . . But while anyone can tell a story that resembles a dream, it's the rare artist, like this one, who can make us feel that we are dreaming it ourselves.” —The New York Times Book Review   The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled. As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s—1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.


Reviewed: 2021-04-29

Incredibly and needlessly long and triggering*. Disappointing narrative**, but the writing itself is very compelling.

*suicide, graphic child rape
**I'm not interested in a 950 page romance

Reviewed: 2020-06-17
Okay. I just can't do it anymore. I went as far as page 379 to finally realize I don't care about this book at all. It's just not worth it. I was so excited to read this; it sounded amazing, but I know now I just have to walk away. I don't know how many more times things will be repeated over and over and over again, or how uninteresting the characters will become, or how much stupider the story will get, but I'm not reading 600 more pages to find out. There were a few parts that would pique my interest and get my hopes up, and then an explosion of boring would happen. And don't forget the awkward sex scenes. You can't have a Murakami novel without those. I don't know why, reading Murakami's sex scenes or any description of the female anatomy CREEPS ME OUT. Ick.

I still like you though, Haruki. I'll just hold The Wind-up Bird Chronicle close to my heart and pretend this big ol' hot mess never even happened.
Reviewed: 2020-05-27
This is one of the few books of this length that could have been longer and I probably would have enjoyed it just as much. Good mystery, great characters, and it left me checking every night to make sure there was only one moon.
Reviewed: 2015-09-30
So far I'm really enjoying this as I've enjoyed mostly everything by Murakami I've read previously. Bonus points for it being such a long audiobook (46 hours) and having two really good readers. The shifts into alternate realities have been rather subtle and the characters have reacted first with the belief that the differences in universes were always there and somehow they'd just overlooked them which seems an imminently reasonable response. I'm intrigued to see how the two characters will intersect as their paths are so different but also tinged with the tiniest of overlaps. Murakami's flat, matter of fact delivery is a deft tool to deliver the more incredible events in his fiction.

There was a moment where I started to flag in my concern for the two leads, as the action seemed to be in a holding pattern. It seems the author sensed this too, as a third narrative perspective started, and the book regained its early energy. But the end fell kind of flat for me. I don't want to give any spoilers but it all closed much sooner than it seemed the storyline required (at least as far as I was anticipating).
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@ruben began #0000000001q00000... on 2020-03-21
@becandbones began #0000000001q00000... on 2015-02-23
@cawilson118 completed #01q84... on 2017-01-16
@cawilson118 began #01q84... on 2017-01-02