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1Q84 (1Q84 #1-3)
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Archive 08-19 GR Discussions > 1Q84 - our spring 2014 Chunky Read

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message 1: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Setting up this thread for our upcoming Chunky Read discussion of the complete 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.

Irene will be our leader for this read, and she will be posting a reading/discussion schedule to help us all get through this big book.

This discussion is scheduled to start on May 18th.

Who would like to join us?

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

Nat | 11 comments I loved this. I'm excited for others to read it. Murakami is weirdly fantastic if that makes sense :) I'll be happy to join in.

message 3: by Irene Del (new)

Irene Del (irene918) | 1016 comments I will join in.

message 4: by Stacie (new) - added it

Stacie | 32 comments I have two books to finish first, but will start IQ84 by the 15th. Hope this won't put me too far behind.

Tina | 116 comments I'm hoping to start this soon. Can't make any promises. It is on my TBR list though.

Tyler (tyleralysea) | 63 comments I'll join! Loved this book!

message 7: by Samantha (new)

Samantha (samanthan) | 5 comments I'm in!

Cathie I'm in. Read the book about a year ago and found it fascinating. Interested to see how the discussion goes.

message 10: by Monise (new)

Monise | 9 comments i'm new atthis group but i'm in!

message 11: by Tina (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tina | 116 comments Picked it up today. The librarian made a joke about the book being a book or a weapon. LOL

message 12: by Stacie (new) - added it

Stacie | 32 comments Is there a reading schedule, or do we need to have it finished by the 15th? If it's the latter I am waaay behind.

message 13: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Irene hasn't posted the reading schedule yet. The plan was for reading to START on the 18th though, and probably continue for the next 2 months.

Irene | 3973 comments O, I am so very sorry. The computer ate my schedule. I cross my heart, I posted the schedule immediately after Sheila opened this thread. I have no idea where my schedule post is floating in cyber space.

Here is what I proposed. Let me know if this is going to be a problem now that it is only a couple of days before the intended start date.

5/18-5/24 Discuss Part 1 Ch. 1-12
5/25-5/31 Discuss Part 1 Ch. 13-24
6/1-6/7 Discuss Part 2 Ch. 1-12
6/8-6/14 Discuss Part 2 Ch. 13-24
6/15-6/21 Discuss Part 3 Ch. 1-15
6/22-6/28 Discuss Part 3 Ch. 16 to end

Irene | 3973 comments OK, came back to double check and the schedule is still here. So, will this work?

Cathie I'm still in

message 17: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Schedule sounds fine to me Irene! Thank you. We can always adjust it mid-read if people need more time or if we all start to struggle with this book. But for now, lets run with it as you listed it. :-)

message 18: by Tina (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tina | 116 comments I'll do my best!

Irene | 3973 comments The discussion for chapters 1-12 of book one is now open.

So, what are your initial impressions?

How are you finding the switching between characters in alternating chapters?

Are you developing a connection with Aomame and/or Tango?

Both of our primary characters are undertaking projects that society would consider unethical. Aomame is murdering unprosicuted men guilty of domestic violence, vigolanty justice. Tango is conspiring to defraud the literary world for the sake of ensuring that a great story get heard. Any initial reactions to their activities? Does it bother you to spend nearly a thousand pages with unethical characters or are their actions justified?

In the first chapter the taxi driver warns Aomame that appearances may deceive, that things may not be what they appear to be, but that there can only be one reality. Did this foreboding feel ominous? intriguing? exciting?

message 20: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
I have to admit I just started last night, reading the first chapter of Aomame (green bean! LOL). First chapter has caught my interest though. It is much better written, and easier to read, than I was expecting. I was actually "dreading" this book a bit, and wary of even starting it, but for me, so far so good.

The cab driver's comment of things not being what they appear was very interesting though. It does seem to be wanting to set a tone for this book from the beginning. If not, why include something so cryptic in the first chapter?

message 21: by Petra (new)

Petra I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to following everyone's thoughts.
Sheila, I'm glad that it hooked you right away.

Irene | 3973 comments I am also hooked. I have a love/hate relationship with long books. I often get 300 or so pages into them and wonder why the author can't just get on with it. But, I don't have the feeling that this is going to happen here. There does not seem to be anything said just for artistic reasons. The fact that Tango is praised for his technical writing abilities, that we see his process of refining a story to say just as much as is needed and not too little, makes me think that this is similar to the author's process. The characters are being fleshed out, but it is not dragging I have a feeling that the alternating character lines are going to converge pretty soon.

Cathie For me the biggest takeaway from this first section is the shift in reality, and how Aomome and Tango experience it. Aomome pin points it to her time in the cab and the classical music piece playing. How she knew the piece, but wasn't sure how she knew. Than seeing police officer with a more powerful gun and more casual uniform and how that led to exploring when that all happened. In her research she discovers the precipitating event that lead to the change. All of which didn't happen in her reality. But the taxi driver says all realitys are the same. Hmmm

Tango's reality has also shifted but his perception is less precise but one gets the idea it revolves around editing Aircrylis.

I'm a product of early Twilight Zone tv series. So the idea of dual/shifting realities is interesting. It can be taken so many directions. Like a stone in a body of water the ripples affects are far reaching.

Irene | 3973 comments Cathy, I did not recall a precise event that precipitated this new reality awareness for Aomame. Does she see new police uniforms that no one else is aware of or did she experience some memory lapse. I was taking it that she had lost some piece of memory or of time. I did not pick up any new reality awareness for Tango yet. I do see hints of something in the mention of little people in the story, but it is still unclear. Although, the way that little girl on the train seems to look at him emploringly seems to be some foreshadowing or hint of something more.

message 25: by Nat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nat | 11 comments I think it starts of with her thinking that she might have missed something, so she started to do research to see when did the police changed uniforms. . but you gotta remember she has perfect memory. I hope I'm not jumping too much ahead, but if I am..Spoiler Alert.. on page 133 of my paperback, Aomame she is trying to determine what caused the world around her to change. So she is not living in the same world, but is speculating that there are parallel worlds.

Irene | 3973 comments Thanks. I do not recall the book telling us that Aomame had perfect memory yet, but I could have missed that. I was thinking that her experience of the inconsistancy between her perception of the police uniforms changing and what others told her was one of those odd psychological minutes when memory plays tricks. I know that there have been many times when I swore something happened one way but everyone recalls it very differently. That is what I thought was happening.

message 27: by Petra (new)

Petra It's been awhile since I've read this.
As I recall, Aomame has a very good memory due to her career. She generally has to know all the details and remember them in order to pull off her assignments. Her memory is good but I don't recall it being perfect (it may be, though).
She questions the uniforms and the guns and the more she finds out, the more she questions herself. Irene, all others are aware of the "new" uniforms and guns; it's only Aomame that doesn't recognize them and remembers different uniforms & guns. She's not used to not knowing something and she reads the papers she feels she should know this......and, if it were a change in policy or dress code, she should in reality know it. Her uncle and brother (?) worked in the police force, didn't they?

Cathie, I'm also a product of the Twilight Zone. Loved that show. I was reminded of it as well while reading this book. There are a lot of ripple-effects throughout this book.

Irene, Murakami is very good at using such things as our questionable, faulty memories where we question ourselves & our faulty memories (insisting that our reality has remained the same) instead of accepting that our reality has changed.

I'm looking forward to all of your further thoughts.

Irene | 3973 comments Don't remember if her father and brother were policemen, but the bar tender who was asked about the uniforms knew the anser because his brother was a police officer and the girl she meets in the bar is a police officer because her family was all in the force. So, yes everyone is aware of the change, only she does not recall the change. I do remember her reading the back papers to look for the article about it and her confusion why she can't recall having noticed it before this moment. Even the recognition of the classical music piece I took to be a trick of memory, that experience of something being familiar without being able to remember having encountered it previously. Studies show that the human memory is natoriously falible, far more than we had previously ever admitted. So, I have taken all of this to be signs of this phenomonon, not necessarily as the fullfillment of the taxi drivers warning about things not being what they seem. Maybe I have to start reading this book differently.

message 29: by Nat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nat | 11 comments it's quite fascinating how we all reading the same book, but different things stand out or understood a certain way. I guess no one reads the same book :)

Cathie We all have our own realities :-))

This is my second time reading this so maybe the details are sticking with me more. Also I'm listening to this story not reading it, I wonder how that may effect my perception.

When Aomome does the research in the library she acknowledges to herself that this time/place is similar but not her reality and decides to call "this" world 1q84.

I also wonder why Janáček Sinfonietta? I have listened to it a few times trying to figure it out to no avail. Does anyone have insight. Is the date 1926 (date of sinfonietta) mean anything to the story? Maybe her recognition of the piece is a glimpse of who she would have been if she lived in this (1q84) world from the beginning? More educated in the arts.

Love hashing out my thoughts with this group.

Irene | 3973 comments Did anyone have any reaction to learning that Aomame is a vigalanty killer? that Tango is conspiring to commit fraud? Does these details impact your relationship to or views of these characters?

Cathie Aomame is a fascinating study of a person, she is so matter of fact about it. She only does it to men who beat up there wives, and she has no remorse. On top of that her moment in the bar with the bald guy and asking him about his measurements floors me every time.

Tango is taking a story that needs shaping in order for other to appreciate it. I find the idea of what he's doing part of the gray area of a moral issue. Yet he is more torn up about what he's doing than Aomame, who is clearly doing something against the human law and spiritual law.

Irene | 3973 comments I also loved that interaction in the bar when she so overtly propositions that guy. I can't imagine being at the next bar stool and over hearing those questions. LOL!

I think both Aomame and Tango are set up as operating in a grey moral zone. On one level, both murder and fraud are unethical. But, both are set up in such a way that they appear some what justified. Aomame is preventing these guys from seriously injuring, maybe killing, their helpless wives. These guys seem to be beyond the ability of the law to prosecute. Tango is defrauding the literary world because he thinks that the story is sufficiently valuable to be worthy of any means necessary of getting it seen and read. It could be argued that both have legitimate means available for achieving their ends. Why not have Tango work with the girl as a ghost writer and publish that story in traditional venues? Why not prosecute those abusive spouses more vigorously? And, both are directed by an older, more experienced person. To some extent, it is as if the leadership of those other people mittigates these actions to some extent. Who is more guilty of unethical behavior, the one who calls the shots and pushes a youth to commit a crime but remains invisible or the actual perpetrator of the crime?

message 34: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
I have read through the part where she is looking stuff up in the library. Interesting twist! I wonder if the climbing down the stairs is what made her climb into this alternate world?

message 35: by Petra (new)

Petra I'm loving the comments so far! LOL! Knowing the story, I'm really enjoying the speculations.

Irene | 3973 comments But, if that sudden knowledge of the classical music piece was part of this alternative reality, than it started in the taxi. I did think that the taxi driver sending her out to climb down that utility road access was odd. And, that taxi driver is the one who alerts us to something odd under foot. So....

Cathie Yah it's almost like the taxi driver sets her on the "alternative" path.

Luwanda Dunfee (ludun) There are some many things that I am loving about this book. The characters and surreal plot are engaging. I am wanting to try to remember all the details because I think that they will be important because of how the characters will come together.

Irene | 3973 comments I wonder if we will get to read Air Crystalus. I am curious about this story that is so captivating that Tango and his publisher are willing to risk their career and reputation and commit fraud to get it known.

message 40: by Nina (new) - rated it 2 stars

Nina (niisku80) I only got hold og part 1 and 2 so i will start with them and I'll see how I like them and then try to track down part 3 if nessesary.

message 41: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
I finished our first week's reading last night. Interesting and engrossing story so far. I will admit I am more interested in Aomame's story than Tango's though. It will be interesting to see how they tie together, but for now she is the more fascinating character for me.

message 42: by Nat (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nat | 11 comments Irene we'll definitely find out about the story as the novel progresses. I know I was curious too about it.. what is happening. As always Murakami unravels it slowly and skillfully

Irene | 3973 comments Sheila, Do you know why Aomame is more captivating for you than Tango?

A year or more ago, I read a short story in The New Yorker which I now recognize as Tango's story. At the time, I did not like Tango's story line. It was just about his recalling accompanying his father collecting subscription fees, coming to terms with his relationship with his father as he traveled to visit him in a nursing home. I wonder if Tango's father and that relationship will play out in this novel or if the author used it to explore other aspects of his character, to better understand him.

message 44: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
I think it is because I like what I call "kick ass" female characters, as opposed to weak, wimpy women characters, and Aomame fits this description. Characters like Linda Hamilton in the movie Terminator 2, or the character of Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. Aomame is very smart, she is tough, she can take care of herself. Tango is more boring to me.

Cathie Sheila, I totally agree, I put down many books because the female character was a wimp or whinny or the like. Aomame is so not a wimp. Somehow the way she is portrayed, or is it how we are introduced to what she does, in such a no nonsense way makes her actions (killing the husband) not such a big deal. Its almost like the male and female personalitys are switched Aomame is more masculine and Tango is more female.

Irene | 3973 comments I think that I dislike Tango more than I like Aomame. He is passive. He lets his editor push him around. The guy calls him at all hours, tells him what to do, gets him into difficult situations which he passively accepts. Even his love interest seems as if he may be the passive partner. She seems to set most of the rules. I want evidence of a backbone in characters.

message 47: by Tina (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tina | 116 comments I'm trying really hard to keep up! Work this week sucked a lot of reading time out of me.

Julie | 56 comments On Part 1 Ch 9. I also am hooked and will be ready to discuss Ch 1 - 12.
I like Tango so far - true that he is passive. I am intrigued by the story at this point. N
Not sure how I feel about Aomame.
At this point I feel like I am still am in the set-up stage and the hook is coming....

Irene | 3973 comments Discussion for second half of Book 1 now open.

What are your thoughts at this point?

We now have 2 young women from this isolated colt. Both seem quite traumatized.

It is now clear that Tango and Aomame will intersect. Aomame and Tango knew each other in elementary school. She is that girl who grabbed his hand, the one he felt sorry for, and she still holds a torch for him.

I keep thinking about the taxi driver's admonition in the first chapter that things are not always what they appear to be and that there can only be one reality. As Aomame feels as if she has entered an alternative reality "1Q84", I keep thinking that there can't be two realities. And, whichof the odd things that we are presented with are not what they appear? the second moon? the Little People? the girls? the cult?

Interesting that both Aomame and Tango are without any significant relational ties. Both are estranged from family and lacking any close circle of friends. I suppose this will allow them to act more freely, no one to keep secrets from, no one to come looking for them.

message 50: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
I'm only part way through this weeks sections, so I can't answer all the questions yet. I have to admit the story is getting very interesting, weird, strange, and mysterious.

What is up with the two moon. First Tango edits the story and the editor mentions that he needs to be more descriptive about the two moons in the story. And then, in Aomame's world, she suddenly sees two moons in the sky and doesn't know why. Is Tango's writing editing the real world???

And I just got to the part where the little girl shows up in Aomame's world, the little silent girl, and the old dowager says that the little girl's uterus was destroyed, and when Aomame asks who would do that the girl says "the little people". The little people are from the story that Tango is editing too. So it seems that the story is intersecting and changing with Aomame's "real" world???

I'm mystified as of yet but still engrossed.

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