Lehman book club discussion

1Q84 > 1Q84 - Week 3 (283 - 426)

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message 1: by Sarah (last edited Apr 06, 2019 09:55AM) (new)

Sarah Doskocil (soverview) | 25 comments I just read (Mom, don't click on the spoiler until you're past page 313) (view spoiler) and I was really surprised by how disturbing it was. I think the book has been written, up to this point, with remarkable realism for a story that is about people jumping dimensions. In a way the "mystical" aspect of the book has only been touched on, up to this point, in such a way that it is dismissed from the reader's thought process as they interact with the book. As a reader I was approaching the "fantastical" element of this book as more of a symbolic literary device, and was not prepared for that scene! Because mystical consideration was not at the forefront of my mind when I read that scene it was very jarring, and surprisingly revolting. Wondering if you guys had the same reaction, and if so, what your own thoughts are about the quality of writing, and the purpose of such a disturbing revelation.

Also, (view spoiler)

message 2: by Sarah (last edited Apr 06, 2019 09:57AM) (new)

Sarah Doskocil (soverview) | 25 comments If you guys want to post a "spoiler" you type this < spoiler > (without the spaces between the < and >, your text, and then < /spoiler >, again without the spaces.

message 3: by Tom (new)

Tom Lehman | 7 comments yes... 'disturbing' is the right word... when I wrote in my earlier post that inch-by-inch the story gets tenser, and 'scarier' as you go along (and you will KNOW when you get there... there is a point in the story where "oh my God, what is going to happen here...") maybe 'disturbing' is more accurate emotional tenor than 'scary' but, either way, the author has created a bizarre circumstance that I still do not understand (I am about midway through book 3 now).
I have not read much 'magical realism' or fantastical literature, so I do not know about this stuff - but the unsettling and strange feel of this story reminds me of that other Japanese book about the guy who was trapped in the bottom of the sand pit who cannot get out... a very unfamiliar kind of story-telling. What kind of genre is this? Japanese? That book also had a bunch of unsettling sexual stuff, too. I also do not understand all the sexual undercurrent in this. Surely there must be a 'reason' (literary) for it... certainly not a 'turn on' like in some sort of romance literature. And without a spoiler... just saying, it will get more sexually disturbing as you go along...

message 4: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabethintexas) | 22 comments Something occurs as I start this 3rd week segment (not to page 313 yet, so won't read Sarah's comments above until I do): do you think the one person who escaped the shoot-out on the mountain is the Blind Goat?

message 5: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabethintexas) | 22 comments Having just now read to page 313 and completed the scene with the emerging Little People, I read your comments.

First, let me confess that I totally ignored your instructions for how to post a spoiler alert.

I too found the scene disturbing, but also aggravating. I was much more comfortable in Murakame's world without those Little People. On the other hand, I had been quite comfortable with my conclusion that the Little People were just the subjects, cult followers, of the Blind Goat (Big Brother). Now what? He has turned my world on its heals. I could overlook the little green moon as some sort of metaphorical device that I hadn't yet grasped, a symbol for corruption or some such, but now The Little People, magical and malevolent, have unmoored my boat and, frankly, I don't like it. I don't want the book, which up to know has been addictively readable, to become so incomprehensible to me that I become impatient. I almost feel something has been taken from me, so that is the biggest source of my discomfort. And I worry that my ability to suspend disbelief can only be stretched so far (personal failing, not Murakami's). I agree, Sarah, that up to now Murakami has been setting us up, teasing us with slight unease, but making us comfortable, and then he springs The Little People on us, like an angler fish luring in it's prey.

Thoughts - The Little People are still inside Fuka-Eri too. Perhaps they are controlling both of these girls and the story is not of The Little People being discovered/uncovered, but of them in control of revelations about them, dishing out tantalizing bits of information, luring Aomame, Tengo, and the world in before they pounce. Are the Little People behind Fuka-Eri's sudden eloquence at the press conference? Otherwise, she and Tsubasa both are reluctant and halting in their speech; perhaps it's not reluctance, but control by the Little People. Are the girls even present in their own bodies any longer or are they like puppets or programmed AI's? Is the Professor in on it - inhabited by or a tool of The Little People? At this point in the story, Fuka-Eri is going home with Tengo because she says she has no place else to go. He'd better sleep with his mouth shut! And the Dowager -- having slept in a room with The Little People, will she now be under their control? Watch out Aomame and Tengo - the enemy is no longer behind the gates of Sakigake! Until we know more about how they operate, the only two people we can be reasonably sure are not under their influence are these two main characters.

message 6: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabethintexas) | 22 comments Finishing Week 3 (so what if Dad finished? I am still a week ahead of schedule!) two thoughts occur to me. First, is the second moon the Air Chrysalis? It seems rather obvious, but at this point in the novel, nothing has been said about the Air Chrysalis, and I have learned that I second guess Murakami at the risk of being foolish. Second, now that we know for sure that Tengo and Aomame occupy two different realities (the one with one moon and the one with two moons), are Tengo and Aomame different aspects of the same person, and this is why they long so for each other?

message 7: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Doskocil (soverview) | 25 comments Mom, I think they are both in the same reality, somehow, because Tengo, in discussing Fuka Eri's situation with the professor, referenced the police shooting that lead to the police uniform change.

message 8: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabethintexas) | 22 comments Way to pay attention - I overlooked that!

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