Ed's Reviews > 1Q84

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
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's review
Feb 05, 2012

really liked it
Read in February, 2012

I'll preface this review by saying I have not read a lot of Murakami. I'm really only comparing this book to The Wind Up Bird Chronicle while keeping in mind the opinions of a lot of friends (all very good readers, mind you) who have.

1Q84 seems to me like Murakami's "radio single". I mean this in a good way. I'm not, by any means, saying that he sold out to make this book accessible. He didn't. It's Murakami, through and through: a koanish, surreal fantasy filled with classical music, food preparation, cats, and complex, well-drawn characters.

So it's difficult for me to put my finger on exactly why I feel this book is more mainstream than his previous works. One might point out it's because 1Q84 is extremely readable. Yet Murakami has never been difficult. Perhaps it's because it is, at heart, a love story. But that's really nothing new either.

I think it's because

*************BEGIN MAJOR SPOILER************

in the end, everything works out perfectly for the two protagonists. After the 900 page romantic build up, we get finally to see Tengo and Aomame reunited, under a single moon, eluding the bad guys. They're going to start a family.

*************END MAJOR SPOILER*************

I gave this book 4 stars because of its ability to satisfy my mainstream sweet-tooth and also my literary tastes, but mostly because the characters have stayed with me and I was sorry to see them go.

But there are, of course, some points of contention. For instance, how did Air Chrysalis go from a short story in a new author's contest to be the length of a novel? I know it was rewritten, but it's a stretch to think Tengo expounded upon the story that much, especially considering how it was repeated over and over and over how true to the original he stayed. It doesn't make sense.

This is the most glaring, but there were several other head-scratchers, several involving the head of Sakigake.

Also, the length. Even with the book's readability, it didn't need to be 900 pages. It meandered a bit in places and started to drag at points. Reading it was a little like watching a director's cut. Perhaps it was a case of an editor frightened of being too heavy-handed with a work by one of the masters.

And Murakami is definitely that. Still.
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01/11/2012 page 82
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Comments (showing 1-3)

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message 3: by Aspho (new)

Aspho *likes*
I still don't think I'll read this book.

message 2: by Ed (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ed You read Bruno Littlemore. This destroys that book.

message 1: by Aspho (new)

Aspho But it's LONG. I can't take on any more tomes this year O___O

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