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1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
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's review
May 11, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: never-finished
Read in April, 2012

Blech. I kept slogging through until I finished book two of this massive tome, and then gave up. At that point I couldn't care less about anything that happened in the rest of the book, and so I decided not to waste any more of my life. I wanted to like 1Q84! I did! I'm a fan of science fiction and fantasy books!
What didn't I like? Well, any book that repeatedly discusses a main character's breasts gets on my nerves (here's looking at you, Pillars of the Earth). Also Haruki keeps doing this irritating thing: She is so enigmatic there is no way to know what she is thinking; however, in the next sentence I will intuit exactly what she is thinking from the way she holds her eyebrows. How is that supposed to make sense? Furthermore, I hate male authors who so badly understand what women might possibly be like. I think, "Have you ever met a woman?" No woman I know would ACT the way you describe, let alone THINKING the way you describe. Women are nothing like this. Fail job.
I also am not sure if this is a result of the translation, but the language is ugly. Clunky, boring sentences one after the other. Here is a piece of fish. Here is a bowl of soy sauce. Here are the chop sticks. A man eats the fish. A man dips his fish in the soy sauce. A man holds his chop sticks. ARGH!!!! Oh, and I didn't mention the long, long, long descriptions of preparing "simple meals." Always, a "simple meal" described in minute detail. Great, it's simple. It's a meal. Stir fry. Sounds super. Stop describing it!
One more thing, I said before that I like science fiction and fantasy. That's not exactly true. I like sci-fi and fantasy that have something to say. As in, the book should use the lens of a different reality to tell the reader something about humanity or truth or another universally significant topic. Good sci-fi and fantasy make a statement about something bigger than the story. In the first 200 pages, 1Q84 doesn't even do a good job telling the story, let alone try to address anything beyond that. Yuck.

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