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1Q84 (1Q84 #1-3)
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Posts Gone By > 1Q84: Little People Are Stirring: Bk 2 Ch 1-12

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message 1: by Michelle, Overrun By Pets (last edited May 08, 2014 01:31AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Michelle Finazzo | 281 comments ***Open discussion of Chapters 1-12 of Book 2 below, no spoiler marks needed. Be sure you have read through these chapters before reading! Note: if this is your first visit to this topic I recommend you read this post about discussion ideas, then skip down and post your initial response, then read and respond to other people's posts.***

At the very least check in here when you finish this section and tell us if you are enjoying the book. I'll post specific discussion ideas below, along with some general topics we'll see repeated throughout the book.

Mic Breaks Discussions:

1) Is the Leader of Sakigake a mastermind or a pawn of the religion?

2) Why hasn't Aomame killed the Sakigake Leader?

3) How does the concept of the town of cats relate to the story at large?

General Discussions:

1) Share your favorite quote(s) from this section.

2) Share your favorite word(s) used in this section.

3) Do you have a favorite or most intriguing character at this point in the novel?

Location Reminder:

If you are returning to this topic after having continued past this section, here is a plot reminder:

Fuka-Eri and Tengo discuss a town of cats and how they must go there together because of the Little People.


message 2: by Michelle, Overrun By Pets (last edited May 08, 2014 12:07AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Michelle Finazzo | 281 comments Sakigake Leader
I feel very much like this excerpt in attempting to answer this first question. "What Tengo would have to do, it seemed, was take a hard, honest look at the past while standing at the crossroads of the present. Then he could create a future, as though he were rewriting the past. It was the only way."

Trying to figure out this book's plot has been like trying to gain a solid stance on an ever-shifting dune of quick sand. I am convinced I have something figured out only to realize that I am ever so wrong.

My knee-jerk reaction is to agree with the dowager wholeheartedly and blame the Sakigake Leader for the formation of the commune, the development of this strange religion, and ultimately the "abuse" of children that has occurred. I am forcing myself to answer that the Leader, although powerful, is being manipulated within the complex, sci-fi-supernatural tapestry of the Little People.

I was prepared to hate the Leader and relish in Aomame’s destruction of this cult-creating monster. He was mystical, but somehow down to earth. The physical pain as penance in exchange for his supernatural gifts was an intriguing concept. His openness and honesty about sexual relations with his shrine maidens was quite unexpected.

I am desperate to get more information about the Little People - their powers, their limitations, how some people see them and others don't, do they live inside humans and animals, did they kill the dowager's German Shepherd, did they abduct Tsubasa? Murakami has been so stingy with details thus far.

Aomame the Killer
One of my favorite parts in this section was when Aomame preparing to kill The Leader realizes this is exactly what the Leader wants and that he knows what she is preparing to do. The Leader has answers to some of the questions we have all been dying to know! I am hoping in my heart of hearts that Aomame will extract some concrete facts about the Little People and what is going on in this alternate/dual reality. The Leader knows quite a lot about Aomame, Tengo, Ayumi, and 1Q84. I predict that Aomame will eventually kill the Leader after more secrets have been divulged in order to save her true love Tengo, finally releasing the Leader from his physical pain.

Town of Cats
I really enjoyed the Town of Cats as a short story. The following line resonated with me in relation to the story as a whole: “There is no town of cats, he finally realizes. It is the place where he is meant to be lost. It is a place not of this world that has been prepared especially for him.”

I think this statement speaks volumes about life being a formative journey shaped from experiences that, although they may be shared with others, are refracted through each person's point of view thus creating a singularly unique result. This concept is mirrored in Fuka-Eri and Tengo being united in a strange place once they had collaborated on Air Chrysalis and in coming to terms with the threat from the cult and/or the Little People. It is also indicative of Aomame’s travel from 1984 to 1Q84 and how she is experiencing a reality that is very different from everyone she encounters. It is truly a balance of having connections with others, but accepting that perspectives differ greatly from one individual to the next.

Favorite Quotes
"The flowers were large and fleshy white, like little animals from an alien land that were deep in meditation."

"He had taken her sudden, baffling death as both a personal insult and a challenge."

"Tamaru spread his arms, palms up, as if he were standing in a desert, waiting for the rain to fall, but he said nothing. He had big, fleshy palms marked with scars. His hands looked more like parts of a giant machine than of a human body."

"Fuka-Eri narrowed her eyes for a time with a deadly serious look, like a sailor trying to catch the song of a ship’s ghost.”

“I have never once been charged with a crime. That is to say, I have no police record. Now, this may be owing to some oversights on the part of the justice system, I don’t deny that.”

Favorite Words
Frittering, pique, sanatorium, ominous boulder, hoax, grandiose title, oversolicitous, grammatical accuracy, banter, and conspiratorial silence.

Favorite Character
My favorite character is the villainous creepy stalker Ushikawa. The descriptions of him in this section were top-notch.

"The large crown of his head formed an abnormally flat bald area with lopsided edges. It was reminiscent of a military heliport that had been made by cutting away the peak of a small, strategically important hill."

“It was not just that he had terrible style: he also gave the impression that he was deliberately desecrating the very idea of wearing clothes.”

A well-written villain is simply scrumptious to me. He was a perfect mix of knowing too much, but feigning ignorance. He is menacing and nerdy at the same time.

message 3: by Andrew, Wound Up (new) - rated it 4 stars

Andrew Finazzo (johnyqd) | 343 comments Time Crunch - not sure I'm happy with these answers and the second section is unfinished. I have to move on with the story but I hope to clean this up a bit.

Long mid section break for me. Wish me luck in this catch up post!

Leader: I don't think Leader is either a mastermind or pawn. Or, more specifically, he may have become a pawn of the Little People. I don't think he's willing to smash the twisted religion he created by being a conduit but he feels the need to halt it's progress. What he has created has become twisted and tortured, but he would rather sacrifice himself than destroy the creation. His religion is a monster and he is Frankenstein.

Aomame's Hesitation: Who wouldn't hesitate when presented with a mystery that reaches into the depths of their heart? Aomame has no assurance that killing leader will eradicate the threat to Tengo (or make it worse). Leader is the only known conduit with the Little People, if Aomame kills him she has no path to getting answers.

Cats: The Town of Cats is a miniaturized 1Q84. How to get there and how to get back out are puzzles to be solved. What it actually is might be beyond explanation.




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