1Q84 – Haruki Murakami

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. – Goodreads.com

I have been hearing great reviews about Haruki Murakami’s work for a long time now. A lot of his books sounded quite surreal and interesting but I kept wondering how he could ever make a plot like his work. Well, he did it. Fantastically.

In 1Q84 we see likenings to George Orwell’s 1984 (one of my favourite novels). I somehow didn’t register the connection until someone mentioned it in a review and then the characters discussed it in the book. You can see why a 1,300+ page book with a crazy plot line may have been intimidating to me – sometimes my brain just doesn’t want to put things together itself!

I’m so glad I picked this book up. I fell in love with Aomame during the first few moments of her story. She is a strange character, raw and honest and blunt and romantic. Not necessarily “likable” or someone you could imagine being friends with but a very interesting and engaging character. I don’t want to give too much away about her or the others in this book series because I feel like it can be more fun going into this one without too much prior knowledge.

Ushikawa was another of those strange, not so likable but super intriguing characters and I fell in love with his story as well. I was incredibly glad that we got to see more from his point of view in Book 3. It was a little treat for me that I really indulged in.

When Murakami refers to fantastical elements in his book, he describes them so well you start to believe that they could exist in our world. An incredible work of writing in that sense. To make something so fantastical and unbelievable so incredibly real to a reader, I think is a great achievement.

If you are a fan of thrillers, mystery, fantasy, sci fi, relationships, weirdos, then pick this book up immediately! There’s so many beautiful editions to choose from! I ended up purchasing The Wind Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore for this years reading as well.

 

Favourite Character

Ushikawa, Aomame.

Pros

  • Really great blend of fantasy and realism.
  • Excellent characters.
  • Doesn’t shy away from awkward or confronting topics.

Cons

  • Personally wasn’t much of a fan of Tengo or Fuka-Eri as people, but as characters they were well written.
  • Not so much a con but I want to warn you of a trigger warning for child & adult sexual assault/abuse.
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2 thoughts on “1Q84 – Haruki Murakami

  1. I just read my first Murakami, Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, and loved his writing style. This looks like an intimidating read (the size is huge) but sounds really intriguing!

    Like

    • It was definitely intimidating for me as well but it ended up being very enjoyable! I’m looking forward to reading more Murakami but I think I will space them out haha.

      Like

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