carlsfrog, October 26, 2014 (view all comments by carlsfrog)
A very good, if very Asian and surrealistic novel. Well worth the read and the price as you follow the primary characters and their backups through a convoluted multi-worldly adventure/mystery.
Prismatic, October 23, 2014 (view all comments by Prismatic)
Despite its length, this is a tightly written novel in the genre known as "magical realism." At the start it consists of two separate narrative threads that alternate, but seem unconnected. As the two stories progress, they begin to come together in a fascinating way. The plot is too good to reveal even with the slightest hint in a review, but few readers will be disappointed. As obscure and eccentric as it may seem at times, the novel reflects back on itself and the entire narrative becomes a metaphor for the creative act of writing. This is Murakami at his very finest�"a mystery, a love story, and a philosophical novel all in one.
Daniel Pope, October 21, 2014 (view all comments by Daniel Pope)
A whale of a book, in both size and bang for your buck. Murakami tells the story of an alternate 1984, where there are two moons in the sky and a nefarious group of "little people" (only about a foot high) appear from the mouth of a dead goat and cause evil to come into this world. Murakami's imagination is always a marvel to behold, but he's particularly inventive in this novel. After being immersed in the book for about a month, I had to check the sky above my head to see how many moons were up there.
by The New York Times Book Review,
“Murakami is like a magician who explains what he’s doing as he performs the trick and still makes you believe he has supernatural powers....But while anyone can tell a story that resembles a dream, it's the rare artist, like this one, who can make us feel that we are dreaming it ourselves.”
by Michael Dirda, The Washington Post,
"Once you start reading 1Q84, you won't want to do much else until you've finished it. Murakami possesses many gifts, but chief among them is an almost preternatural gift for suspenseful storytelling....Despite its great length, Murakami's novel is tightly plotted, without fat, and he knows how to make dialogue, even philosophical dialogue, exciting....There's no question about the sheer enjoyability of this gigantic novel, both as an eerie thriller and as a moving love story....I read the book in three days and have been thinking about it ever since."
by New York Times Magazine,
"A book that...makes you marvel, reading it, at all the strange folds a single human brain can hold....A grand, third-person, all encompassing meganovel. It is a book full of anger and violence and disaster and weird sex and strange new realities, a book that seems to want to hold all of Japan inside of it....Murakami has established himself as the unofficial laureate of Japan — arguably its chief imaginative ambassador, in any medium, to the world: the primary source, for many millions of readers, of the texture and shape of his native country....I was surprised to discover, after so many surprising books, that he managed to surprise me again."
by Los Angeles Times,
"Profound....A multilayered narrative of loyalty and loss....A fully articulated vision of a not-quite-nightmare world....A big sprawling novel [that] achieves what is perhaps the primary function of literature: to reimagine, to reframe, the world....At the center of [1Q84's] reality...is the question of love, of how we find it and how we hold it, and the small fragile connections that sustain us, even (or especially) despite the odds....This is a major development in Murakami's writing....A vision, and an act of the imagination."
by Entertainment Weekly,
"1Q84 is one of those books that disappear in your hands, pulling you into its mysteries with such speed and skill that you don't even notice as the hours tick by and the mountain of pages quietly shrinks....I finished 1Q84 one fall evening, and when I set it down, baffled and in awe, I couldn't help looking out the window to see if just the usual moon hung there or if a second orb had somehow joined it. It turned out that this magical novel did not actually alter reality. Even so, its enigmatic glow makes the world seem a little strange long after you turn the last page.
by Cleveland Plain Dealer,
"[A] masterwork...[Murakami has] crafted what may well become a classic literary rendering of pre-2011 Japan....Orwell wrote his masterpiece to reflect a future dystopia through a Cold War lens....Similarly, Murakami's 1Q84 captures attitudes and circumstances that characterize Japanese life before the March earthquake-tsunami-nuclear disaster. Reading 1Q84, once can't help but sense already how things have changed."
by Richard Eder, The Boston Globe,
“[1Q84] is fundamentally different from its predecessors. We realize before long that it is a road. And what the writer has laid down is a yellow brick road. It passes over stretches of deadly desert, to be sure, through strands of somniferous poppies, and past creatures that hurl their heads, spattering us with spills of kinked enigma. But the destination draws us: We crave it, and the craving intensifies as we go along (unlike so many contemporary novels that are sampler menus with neither main course nor appetite to follow). More important, the travelers we encounter, odd and wildly disparate as they are, possess a quality hard to find in Murakami’s previous novels: a rounded, sometimes improbable humanity with as much allure as mystery. It is not just puzzlement they present, but puzzled tenderness; most of all in the two leading figures, Aomame and Tengo. Converging through all manner of subplot and peril, they arouse a desire in us that almost mirrors their own....Murakami makes us want to follow them; we are reluctant to relinquish them. Who would care about the yellow brick road without Scarecrow’s, Woodman’s and Lion’s freakiness and yearning? What is a road, particularly Murakami’s intricately convoluted road, without its human wayfarers?”
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