Books, Fiction

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami Book Review

It’s a terrible thing when a person dies, whatever the circumstances. A hole opens up in the world, and we need to pay the proper respects. If we don’t, the hole will never be filled in again.”

Excerpt from:
Haruki Murakami
Synopsis from Goodreads:

A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.

As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.

I have read reviews equating Murakami’s writing to dreams and horrors while reading reviews of his works. Perhaps Murakami embellishes dreams to a large amount as he accounts for their successes, failures, wants, and fancies. I agree with these observations, and I’m awed by Murakami’s ability to tap into his own subconscious, but everything appears to be grounded in reality.

Anyway, I consider these earlier nuggets of wisdom to be quite self-evident. I became engrossed in the first few hundred pages like a young child reading a fable. I had no idea what would occur straight away. His symbolism was really powerful, his thought-exchanges were consistently engaging, and the storyline was both deliberate and chaotic. I was fascinated by their enigmatic meeting and couldn’t get enough of it.

Murakami’s characters in this novel were engaging, eccentric, and far-fetched to me. I’m tempted to say they’re level, but after detailed dive, they’re puzzling with tortuous histories, their distance more the result of alienation than poor construction. Tengo and Aomame are two characters that meet this description. They wander through their early adulthood with a sense of estrangement bordering on despair, both autonomously grabbing for one brilliant second in their childhood when they sensed one another. In any event, they can’t meet in a distant reality. Murakami, like all great writers, has lured me into his universe and introduced me to the people in his tale.

I was disheartened after reading the book’s conclusion. I was prepared for anything, but not at all for what I had anticipated. Surprisingly, when normalcy eventually appeared, I had the impression that it would be quite different from what I had anticipated. I was wrong, though. The novel came to a end, and I wasn’t really surprised by it. I don’t say this to gloat, but I’m not a foresighted reader who can predict how a book will pan out; rather, I anticipated that I would be just as surprised by the finish of the novel as I had been during the most of what I was reading.

With almost 900 pages, I’m sure some of you may believe this book is a lot to take in to establish a tone and position engaging characters for a reader to become involved in the plot. Though the book is well-written and fast-paced for the most of the novel, the author felt it unnecessary to tie crucial plot aspects together at the conclusion, leaving me feeling deceived.

In light of this, I am happy to advise people who have not yet started reading this book to give it some of their time. The reading is absolutely worthwhile. Who knows, you could even have a very different insight from mine in the last chapter of the novel. 🙂

My Overall Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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