Laurian's Reviews > 1Q84

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
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's review
Jan 22, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: fiction, fantacy
Read from April 30 to May 04, 2012

Oh my goodness this is a long book - some 900+ pages. I’m glad I picked it up at a stage in my life when all I can do is lay still and watch television... because otherwise I might have given up on this strange strange book.

If you can’t tell by the name of the author and the name of the book, this book is on the weird side. I’m not even sure where you would put it in the bookstore because it doesn’t really fit any particular category except maybe fantasy. Even then... it just isn’t your normal kind of fantasy book.

I tried explaining the premise of the book to my husband... and failed. But I’ll try again. The book follows two primary characters who you don’t even know are intertwined until the “second” book. The first is a man-killing martial arts instructor who jumps out of a taxi and finds herself in an alternate universe that is just like the other universe except that there are two moons and police uniforms are a bit different. The second is a math teacher who is aspiring writer who discovers a strange yet captivating book about “little people” who emerge from a dead goat while a ten-year-old girl is placed in solitary confinement for a ten-day period. They both find themselves muddling along in their lives yet finding themselves being moved towards forces in their life that are unstoppable.

I’m trying to decide if I liked the book. From the first page the prose has a kind of intimacy that is equally paired with aloofness that is captivating. Even now, I find it strange that I didn’t put the book down after the first 50 pages or so. It is because the book is almost entirely without plot, it meanders, and dithers; it is much like the daily lives of people - having neither the climatic point of “normal” books, yet having meaning lying below the still waters.

The book had moments of beauty that were wonderful. It is those that kept me reading and even at this point make the book enjoyable in retrospect. But, I still can’t tell you what the book was *really* about, or if anyone that I know would actually enjoy the book. I was reading at a pace of about 300 pages a day, read dozens of books a year, and am still in doubt. I do know that this would make a fantastic quixotic book to read in a university literature course.

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