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1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3)
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June 2018: Magical Realism > 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami - 4 stars

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message 1: by Jason (last edited Jun 08, 2018 06:07PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jason Oliver | 2112 comments This is a very interesting and unique book. I rated it 4 stars mainly due to the writing and the story held my interest for over 900 pages despite not being a magical realism fan. However, I also have some complaints.

1Q84 follows 2 story lines for 2/3rds of the book then 3 story lines for the last part. Its so unusual and complex, the jist of the story is hard to explain. The story starts in 1984 and Aomame, one of the story lines, notices two moons in the sky, realizing she is in a different 1984 she names 1Q84. Tengo, the other story line, was a math prodigy with dreams of becoming an author. He is approached with a manuscript for an unusual but powerful story but poorly written. He is asked to rewrite it. Sounds boring, but this story is anything but.

The writing is beautiful. Its very simple but complex with depth at the same time. This would be more credit to the translators, and in my audiobook, there is an interview with the translators at the end which I enjoyed as well.

The story is very intriguing. The story jumps back and forth between Aomame narrative and Tengo's narrative. While one starts to get dull, the other is getting interesting and vise versa. Murakami did a wonderful job of keeping the whole plot interesting and moving forward.

The audio version is wonderful with 3 different narrators doing the 3 different narratives. The voices were wonderful as well as the pace and flow of the reading. They really enhanced the simple and lovely writing.

The characters are really complex and all are different. Some I liked more than others and I find this to be a wonderful thing. They came to life, which you really need in a 900 page book.

The parts I didn't like.
Some ideas did not seem logical. Example is the 1Q84. So Aomame realizes she is not in her original 1984, so she names it 1?84 or 1Q84. Well that does not make sense to me. Does she believe she might be in 1784? The place of the question does not make sense. There were a few other little things like this where I found the logic lacking.

The characters have a wonderful talent for jumping to correct conclusions with little supporting information. Much of this has to do with intuitions. I think since the story is so original and unique, Murakami used things like this to move the story along quicker but I didn't really like the leaps of understanding.

I felt there were statements presented at deeper understanding and philosophical statements that really were just a bunch of nonsense. Example is "If you can't understand it without and explanation, then you can't understand it with and explanation." This thought is went back to several times and presented as an underlying truth with deep meaning. I guess it reinforces the jumping to correct conclusions.

Lastly, Murakami's thinly veiled attacks on Jehovah's Witnesses are mis-characterized, mis-classified, misrepresented and just plain false. Small truths are mix with other beliefs, exaggerated, misrepresented, added to, and taken away from to present Jehovah's Witnesses negatively.


message 2: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7877 comments This is an author that I feel like everyone has read and that I should add to me TBR, but there is just nothing about his books that sound appealing to me. Though, it is nice to know that the audiobook is well done...


message 3: by Cora (new) - added it

Cora (corareading) | 1517 comments I have been trying to listen to this one and I am having a hard time getting into it. I think I might do better with text rather than the audiobook.


Jason Oliver | 2112 comments His work is not my kind of story so I won't go looking for any more of his works, but it was enjoyable.


message 5: by annapi (last edited Jun 09, 2018 07:47AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

annapi | 5210 comments Jason wrote: "His work is not my kind of story so I won't go looking for any more of his works, but it was enjoyable."

Jason, if this is your first Murakami, his other works are all just way different, not just from this, but from each other. So it's possible you may find one you like. Also, they're a lot shorter than this one, LOL. That said, he does have some strange stuff, very surreal, so you also may not. I have to be in a certain mood to tackle his work.


Diane Zwang | 485 comments I have only read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle from this author but I loved it. I still hope to get to this one some day. Kuddos to you for listening to a 900 page book in a topic that is not your favorite.


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