Alicia's Reviews > 1Q84: Books One and Two

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
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's review
Jan 14, 12

Read in January, 2012

Based on the rave reviews, I was very eager to read this book. Many people agreed that the multi-layered plot was brilliant - they couldn't put it down and when they finally finished, the story stayed with them. An amazing story and one that lasts for more than 900 pages? That's every bookworm's dream! A rare gem to be treasured! Unfortunately, I found 1Q84 to be more like a piece of coal - it had the potential to become something beautiful but remained...blah.

For those of you Goodreads-ers who read reviews before picking up a book, please take my review with a grain of salt - I am clearly in the minority as most people found this book to be life-changing and you may be one who passionately devours it too. There were certainly parts that I enjoyed, but each time the plot started to build and I thought, "Here it comes - this is what everyone's raving about" and then, nothing. I don't want to spoil the story for you so generally speaking, this is why I gave it one star:

1. This book is EXTREMELY repetitive - The same events are explained an unnecessarily excessive amount of times. The repetition does not advance the story in any way; in fact it drags it on. This book (really, books I, II and III) is a good 300 pages too long.

2. Dialogue - Characters used words or phrases unnaturally which is likely a translation issue. It was slightly distracting (and yet, endearing) but not a huge issue. What bothered me was parroting - one character would say two sentences and another character would repeat the last sentence as a question. This happened frequently. Also the phrase "so what you're saying is..." was used often and unnecessarily - the character's point was clearly made and didn't require clarification.

3. The plot - Oh the plot how you disappoint! There was so much potential here and it didn't go anywhere. There were no twists or turns (events were easily anticipated so I felt deflated when they happened), minimal excitement at most and not in any way compelling.

4. The characters - The two main characters' affection for another seemed forced. I don't want to give away too much but the characters evolved in a way that felt like different people edited different sections of the book.

5. Breasts, periods and pubic hair - The author writes about all three in detail and often. Generally speaking, I don't have a problem with this at all; however, it didn't feel natural to the characters. I know that sounds weird but it read like a creepy fixation the author had/has vs something the character would focus on.

Overall, this book was a terrific disappointment and in desperate need of a capable editor. Should you read this book, I sincerely hope you enjoy it. If you do and you would like to tell me why, I'd love to hear from you because I am confounded by the hype!

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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Murakaminlondon I agree with your review. I have given it 3 stars and I think I was generous. I am even more disappointed because he has been my favourite author for the last 14 years... I waited two years for the translation! I couldn't recommend this book to anyone. What happened Murakami?

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