1q84 by Haruti Murakami
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 ?