Timothy Hallinan's Reviews > 1Q84

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
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Dec 13, 11

Read in December, 2011

Okay, I'm biased -- Murakami is my favorite living novelist. But I think I would have been swept off my feet by this book if it had been written by Herman Schlebb. It's a feat of imagination that makes most of this year's critical favorites look like second-rate telenovelas.

Tengo is a former math prodigy, now a bit of a slacker -- a cram school teacher and desultory writer. Aomame is a trainer who moonlights in a much more lethal trade, dispatching permanently men who brutally abuse women. Fuka-Eri is a 17-year-old girl of mysterious parentage who has written a short novel called "Air Chrysalis" that Tengo is secretly hired to improve, without credit. The fantasy Fuka-Eri has written is actually based on reality, and that reality is strong enough to pull Aomame out of 1984 and into a time she calls 1Q84, with the "Q" standing for "question."

And Tengo, who has had a mysterious bond with Aomame since fourth grade, is drawn into it, too. Unbeknown to each other, both inhabit a Tokyo that has two moons, although no one can see them but those who live in 1Q84.

This is a whopper of a book, maybe 900 pages, and I ate it alive. Murakami has always been prodigious, but this is a new high-watermark.

This is the best new novel I've read in perhaps two years. Perhaps even longer.
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message 1: by Karin (new) - added it

Karin Thanks, Tim for this suggestion. I joined Goodreads last night and yours is the first 'friend' book I see this morning. I'm Karin F. - met you in Mendocino at your reading recently.


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