Read: 1Q84

You know how I feel about Murakami. Well, he did it to me again. Murakami, and his style, hook me in each and every time. Things always start off so innocently. A woman in a taxi on an expressway. A simple suggestion by the driver and suddenly I’m in a world of the unknown.

The further along things go, the more they make sense. Or do they? And there are passages that are somewhat uncomfortable to read. And you know they are coming and you end up reading them anyway.

I spent several weeks on this book, which should tell you a lot, and I was not waiting for the end. I was dreading it. Don’t worry, it wasn’t that bad. I just didn’t want the book to end.

You will see I’m giving you nothing about the storytelling, or next to nothing, but that is purposeful. It would do no good. You will either go along with it or you won’t. 1Q84 is considered a masterpiece and was hugely successful in Japan. There are reasons for this.

15 Comments on “Read: 1Q84”

  1. i would have thought you had already read that one. i’d recommend ‘colorless tsukuru tazaki and his years of pilgrimage’ as well as ‘the penguin book of japanese short stories’ by jay rubin. fantastic reading. murakami wrote the introduction and was also included in the collection.

    1. Sean,
      Will add to list. For all I know, I read it already and forgot. I just ordered five more books from library.

  2. I am reading this book now almost done. It becomes more and more believable. Fantastic book. Can’t put it down. 20 hours of reading so far.

  3. I was really disappointed in the ending of colorless tsukuru tazaki. But it did stop me from reading more Murakami. How did I not know about this writer before now.

  4. I don’t know if you have read Murakami’s short story ‘Tony Takitani’ which was published in the New Yorker in 2003. It starts with what is to me the amazing line – “Tony Takitani’s real name was really that: Tony Takitani.” Who doesn’t want to read on.

    It is hard to imagine a film of a Murakami story but In 2007 a film was made of ‘Tony Takitani’. If you haven’t seen it you must. The pace, the style, the cinematography. Take a screen shot at any moment, a completely random moment in the film, and you have a photograph I would die, or kill for.

    As you may guess I am a complete Murakami devotee but kudos must, must be given to his translators. I suspect translating books like Murakami’s from Japanese to English must be like translating poetry – translation on a completely different level.

    1. Paul,
      Great point, I have always wondered what it would be like to read him in Japanese. Not happening in my lifetime but a guy can dream.

  5. Japanese fiction is so rich and varied. I actually make myself read a new Japanese novel every month as there’s no better way to understand the country you live in than through good fiction (however quirky).

    I must admit though, I grew tired of Murakami a while back but recently read What I Think About When Running and enjoyed it so I might give 1Q84 a try.

    I can email you a list of other great Japanese writers if you are interested. Let me know.

    1. Sean,
      Yes please! If you ever get tired of anything just look at an 8×10 glossy of me. Swear it works. Bring you right out of that funk.

  6. There is a great Japanese movie called Woman in the Dunes. A must see. It is about 30 years old.

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