Stephanie W's Reviews > 1Q84

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
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's review
Dec 19, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: dystopia, conceptual-mind-fuck, japanese, fiction, romance
Read from December 19, 2011 to January 11, 2012

I really wanted to love this book. I was looking forward to it for so long since this was the first new Murakami book released since I started reading Murakami. The premise of a George Orwell 1984 remake was intriguing, but I soon discovered that Murakami's writing style is much more effective in small doses of 200-350 pages. Anything longer and he starts to drag.

1Q84 was no exception. The pacing of many parts of the book was painfully slow, and there was a lot of repetition about the moon, ears, sex, Seven Stars cigarettes, and cats. In general, it's the same repetition you see in every Murakami book that makes you realize you're in that world. However, though it's welcome in shorter books, it gets tiresome in the larger work

There were some aspects I loved about the book. I loved the parallels between fanatical religious organizations of 1Q84 with the political control of 1984. I loved the use of literary allusion and Jungian psychology. I loved the character of Tamaru and the stories of Tengo in book 3 and Aomame in book 2. As a whole, I was more interested in the auxiliary characters than the main characters themselves. I wanted to know more about Tamaru and Tengo's father, the NHK fee collector. I wanted a resolution about Fuka-Eri and Tengo's girlfriend and the mysterious nurses in the seaside sanatorium with similar names and stories to Aomame's childhood friend and Ayumi, the police officer. I wanted characters and stories that did not suddenly become irretrievably lost with no explanation.

Like most Murakami books, the ending was anti-climactic. Yet I have grown to expect that, in keeping with his style. I was pleased with the book overall and the different perspectives, but I would have preferred separate, smaller stories. I was enthralled by the characters' back stories of the NHK fee collector, the cat town and the Sakigaki religion. I feel that's proof enough that Murakami is more effective in smaller doses. His descriptions are fantastic, but become tired in books over 300 pages.

I'm still a Murakami fan. I will still read the rest of his books. I will still rate them higher than books by other authors for the same intricacy of story.
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Reading Progress

12/21/2011 page 130
14.0% "Amazing what a few hours on a plane will get you. Started it this morning. Good so far"
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