Probably the biggest book I’ve attempted this year, I finally finished Murakami’s masterpiece 1Q84. This epic monster tells the stories of Aomamme, a gym instructor with a secret life and Tengo, a maths teacher with a gift for writing, although, he is yet to find his story. Both living their lives when they are unwittingly transported to 1Q84, a similar but different reality. Slowly the story reveals how their lives are inextricably intertwined and you find yourself wondering if they will ever make it out of 1Q84.
To be honest the less said about the plot of the book, the better so this review may be short and sweet. The best description is that it is uniquely Murakami. The concepts are strange and unusual rife with magical realism. The particulars are best discovered by the reader in context as they are written. Safe to say it is a very engaging story and I found my attention never strayed despite the novel being over 1300 pages in length. While I wouldn’t say I was unable to put it down, I had a healthy interest in it and despite the length I did read it quite quickly.
This was only my second Murakami novel and I certainly dove right in. I can say that the way he writes speaks to me and I’m looking forward to reading much more of his work (I may have already received Kafka on the Shore in the mail today). His tone and character’s point of view are unique and are probably what draws me in. The insight as to how the characters think and self-analyse feels very familiar and relatable and i enjoy their inner monologues. Whether it is a hint of magical realism or the full-blown antics of 1Q84 I find they add an interesting dimension to the novels setting them art from many other authors.
My only small issue with the novel was that the ending almost felt anticlimactic in the end for me, although it in no way ruined my opinion of teethe book and to be honest seems to fit with Murakami’s understated style of writing. Overall it was a highly enjoyable read leaving me wanting more of Murakami, although I do admit that I’m glad the rest of his books appear to be much more manageable in length. Definitely worth a read, particularly if you are a Murakami fan. If you haven’t tried his work before I might suggest trying another of his more manageable novels first, to ensure you enjoy his style before committing to this monster. Nevertheless, I highly recommend 1Q84 and give it three goats from Fuka-Eri’s tale that begins it all.