1q84 vol 1 and 2 by Haruki MurakamI

1q84 by Haruti Murakami

Japanese fiction

Translator Jay Rubin

Well I ve said a lot about Murakami in previous posts about him ,so I ll talk about his running .I link to a interview here in running world where he says he has been running for over twenty years .He wrote a non fiction book a few years ago called” what I talk about when I talk about running ” A book I d recomme3nd short but full of insights into the japanese mind ,which in a rather clunky way brings me to 1q84  Whch I feel is his most Japanese .

How many people could recognize Janaecks sinfornetta after hearing just  the first few bars ? probably somewhere between “very few ” and “almost none” .but for some reason .Aomame was one of the few in the world

Janacek sinfonetta to express the contempoary free man ? is start of one line of surrealism in this novel .

I have been putting off reading 1q84 for a number of reasons partly the uneven reviews it got in the newspapers ,also some bloggers who views I  trust were not overly keen on it .So I finally decide to read it when it was named on the IFFP longlist having dodged it some what already  for man Asian shadow  reading  I couldn’t for the second time .I  then decide to entered open  minded ,to forget all the bits I ve read about it before  and was surprised how much I enjoyed it for a Murakami fan there is the usual Murakami traits people on the edge or just coming into adulthood ,a lonely girl ,a writer,a whole host of surreal parts  and set in the 80’s .T he novel is told in the form of two story lines from April to September  Aomame ,she is a thirty year old women ,she works for a strange organisation as a sort of assassin ,we meet her as she is of to kill some one  but has to rush and escapes a txi as she is running late and hear the Janacek piece and sometimes wonder if she is in a different 1984 maybe 1q84 .The other main character is Tengo he is a teacher at a prep school but dreams of being a novelist and when he helps a young girl that has written a manuscript called air chrysalis .But he  is surprised when this book takes off  and its young writer forgets his work on it .Well that is the bones of the book we see these two characters lives but then like a pair of skylarks mating the end up flying closer and closer together ,we see this as the story draws them together and to complete the analogy there is a third minor character but he is the third narrator Ushikawa he is a grotesque hired to follow first Tengo then Aomame so he is like a hawk watching the two skylarks falling and rising as they get drawn together .Also add in a cult and a some of his best surreal touches and do you have his magnum opus well when it first came out in Japan it seemed that way .I m not sure I enjoyed the book much more than I initially thought I would ,I do sometimes wonder if the surreal bits of this book pass me by at times .I also wondered if this book has a great meaning to the Japanese reader I feel the issues and subjects dealt with in the book are the most Japanese of his books I ve read .  I Think it is now in my three favourite books by him ,I will finish the story later this year when I read third part of the book .

What did you think of this ?

Are you planning to read it ?

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Heather
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 11:32:16

    I am currently reading Dance, Dance, Dance, or should I say am listening to the audio book. At first I thought it very odd, but now I am further into the story and enjoying it much more. I’ll probably listen to Iq84, but not immediately.


  2. parrish lantern
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 12:40:58

    Having read all of this, although I like it, it is not my favourite HM book & didn’t think it of merit enough for the IFFP & I say that as a fan of his work. I think he tried to bring all the elements of his fiction & nonfiction together in one book, this was an ambitious idea that ultimately wasn’t successful and ended up a confusion of strands that were loosely tied up.


  3. Harvee (Book Dilettante)
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 12:44:47

    I’m not sue the Japanese think of Murakami as very Japanese. I think they see him as very modern as he certainly departs from the older Japanese writers in his style and content. Here’s my take on IQ84, in case you’re interested: Thoughts on 1Q84


  4. Tony
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 13:37:25

    So, has it barged its way onto your shortlist Stu? 😉


  5. Leeswammes
    Apr 24, 2012 @ 18:37:26

    Stu, I saw your comment on Kimbofo’s blog and realised I hadn’t visited your blog for ages! What an oversight, especially as you mention this book by one of my favorite writers. Just like you, I’ve been putting off reading 1q84.

    Your review is great, and I think I should just go for it! I guess I have to make a choice that’s not easy: read this book in English, a nice (but big) volume, or read it in Dutch (my native language), but that’s 3 volumes, expensive to buy and/or 3x reserving in the library! 🙂


    • winstonsdad
      Apr 25, 2012 @ 20:23:16

      I try it I wasn’t as disappoint as I thought I be I like it ,I like the fact the published two vols together it made over all cost cheaper ,all the best stu


  6. Geosi
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 08:09:56

    Oh I have wanting to pick a Murakami but just like you, never got around to it. I would have to oneday.


  7. Rise
    Apr 25, 2012 @ 13:09:08

    This book was a mixed bag for me. There were some good sections but they fell short of producing a coherent whole. It’s crying for an editing and abridgement, like the one supposedly done in The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.


  8. WordsAndPeace
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 20:07:11

    I read it last November eand enjoyed every line of it. this is my favorite Murakami. here is my review: http://wordsandpeace.com/2011/11/15/80-review-1q84/


  9. Trackback: Shadow iffp reviews « Winstonsdad's Blog
  10. Rughy
    Jul 20, 2012 @ 13:36:56

    I found the book most fascinating and enjoyable however the English translation was poor. It had been translated into American English with measurements etc. changed to imperial, I feel if it was translated by a Briton it would have made it a better read. Unfortunately the English language has been degraded where we have lost power of the word.


    • winstonsdad
      Jul 22, 2012 @ 11:43:58

      I was jsut discussing this the other day it is all to do with money us publishers have the money to buy translations so most in american english ,all the best stu


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