“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.
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I usually enjoy Murakami, but I really disliked this book. Everything about it seemed disjointed, contrived, and forced. It was basically soft porn dressed up as a story. The sex should always be natural and add to the story. This seemed to be scenes written around what he hoped would be shocking or strange sex. It reminded me of the forced nature of Outlander. Instead of enhancing the story, the sex ruined it. He did a better job in his other books.
I wasn't really impressed with the concept of alternate universe 1Q84. There was some promise in likening the cult leaders to the various strange people who have led religious cults in real life. In my opinion, that promise fell flat. It was such a huge time commitment. But, unlike other long novels (Pillars of the Earth, The Agony and the Ecstasy, Harry Potter, etc) that I wished would go on forever, I felt robbed of my time. I cheated and read summaries of the 3 chapters in book 3 so I could just get it over with.
Another good Murakami, not Great one
This proves to show that a simple very short story can be the seed to a greater idea, I kept wanting Aomame to get together and this simple notion was a bit to simple for me. All in all I can't wait for the next Murakami, I liked it better than some of his other work, but for me it's not his best.
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