Ademption's Reviews > 1Q84

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
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May 13, 2014

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bookshelves: japanese-literature, novels

2.5 stars rounded up to 3. Middle of the pack meta-Murakami:

Lonely people doing chores and eating simple meals while listening to obscure classical music. Then, some weird things happen, which are never explained. This is normal in the murakami-verse. What's new in this novel is that these events are painstakingly narrated by Murakami from a step-by-step process point-of-view. Characters sweep their floor or make food and the reader is informed exactly how these tasks are performed, moment by tedious moment. Further, one of the characters is a writer who writes and talks about writing just like Murakami has previously talked about writing in interviews. So meta. Let me contain my excitement in this post-modern hall of mirrors.

Also, 1Q84 is simile porn. There are many unnecessary, extended similes per page. However, speaking of porn, the sex scenes are well written and plentiful, which is a small saving grace.

1Q84 reminds me of Medulla by Björk. You know, the album where she repeatedly sampled her voice until her voice could be substituted for instruments, which she then sang over. Her singing was made to sound like instruments, which she then sung over. So when you listen to a song from Medulla, it sounds like other Björk songs. But in reality, you are listening to her sing 50 times, and all that singing is shaped into one person singing over instruments. After Medulla, mostly everyone stopped listening to Björk, because they either didn't understand what she was doing or the experiment was too obscure and had little of the qualities that previously attracted her audience. She made at least two more albums after Medulla that people usually don't know about and certainly can't name without googling.

There is a point where artists get so big, they attempt something too large/obscure and lose their audience. It is also probably the point where editors/producers back way off a star, because they don't want to harm the star's power. But the star is jumping the shark because s/he didn't have the grounding and constraints to struggle against that s/he had prior to stardom. 1Q84 is Murakami's Medulla moment.
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Ademption "Just as every village has at least one farmer who is good at irrigation, she was good at sexual intercourse." - Murakami, 1Q84 p 456.


Ademption This is the most embarrassing metaphor in the book. I could not find a comparable simile.


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