Sycobabel's Reviews > 1Q84

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
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Jun 14, 13

Read from October 25, 2011 to June 14, 2013

I finally finished it. Holy hell it only took a year and half... This is my sixth Murakami novel and sadly it's by far my least favorite. I can certainly understand some of the scathing reviews on here but it's by no means terrible. It is however incredibly frustrating. I remember way, way, way back in 2011 when I started this magnum opus (according to the pre-reviews his masterpiece, ha!) and was immediately struck by how clanky the writing was. Stilted dialogue, and way too much exposition. My first thought was it had to be the translation, because no other Murakami novel has ever read like this. Seriously, this is not the hypnotic, tight, well crafted Murakami who wrote Hardboiled Wonderland, Kafka on the Shore, Dance Dance Dance, Sputnik Sweetheart, etc... This was some young amateurish version of Murakami still searching for his voice. Meandering his way through the plot... Passage after passage that keeps beating you over the head with the same information as if you're too stupid to remember what happened 40 pages ago. Frankly, it's just fucking annoying. At 924 pages it's pretty bloated. I question whether there even was an editor involved in the publication. I was talking with a friend about how many pages could be excised and it's a staggering 400!

Still, I did like it despite it's shortcomings. I'll tread carefully with my descriptions for those of you wanting to take the journey. I thought the beginning was fantastic. The introduction into Aomame's profession and dealings with her "clients" was transfixing. I wanted more of the Little People, Leader, Ayumi, Tsubasa, Tamaru and Sakigake. I also enjoyed Tengo's early participation with Air Chrysalis. Fuka-Eri reminded me a little bit of the Chubby Girl form Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World. I enjoyed 1Q84 the most when Murakami was flexing the more mysterious parts of the story... unfortunately the elements I liked the most were given the least amount of attention. Read at your own discretion.

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Reading Progress

12/17/2011 page 100
11.0% "Great, just way too heavy to carry on the bus right now. On hold til after the holidays."
12/17/2011 page 100
11.0% "Great, just way to heavy to carry on the bus right now."
03/14/2012 page 150
16.0% "Back on board the 10lb express!"
07/11/2012 page 250
27.0% "After a seven month hiatus I'm reading this again. Must beat Paul!" 1 comment
07/23/2012 page 300
32.0% "I can't believe I'm only a third of a way through this. It's good though. Finally starting to get a little weird."
02/24/2013 page 400
42.0% "I swear I'm going to finish this damn thing!"
03/16/2013 page 500
52.0% "Am I making progress?" 2 comments
03/31/2013 page 600
63.0% "Choo-choo... this is a very long train."
04/07/2013 page 630
66.0% "I wish there was a small prize at the end of every 100 pages." 1 comment
04/19/2013 page 655
69.0% "Is it possible a helper monkey could read the rest of the book to me? Please?"
05/08/2013 page 745
78.0% "Holy shit! I'm under 200 pages. Only six more months to go."
05/18/2013 page 800
84.0% "I can see Mordor on the horizon." 1 comment
06/14/2013 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Sycobabel Thanks for the birthday present mom!

Paul I basically agree with everything you say. It seems like he was allowed to publish whatever he wanted with no editors or readers to point out the wonky bits. Even with it's flaws, I liked the story.

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