Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Haruki Murakami's 1Q84

Do you like baby daddy drama, religious cults, and sexy female assassins? If so, this may be for you!

I picked up Murakami's book 1Q84 on a whim. I'd been eyeing it for months. Every time I'd go into a bookstore I'd pick it up and thumb through it but was never sure if it'd be worth my while. Eventually I caved in and got the first two books which are paired together in a single book. And I must say, I was quite surprised!

Brief Background on Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami (born 1949) is a popular Japanese novelist (writing both fiction and non-fiction). And his books often reference popular music, films, and events. His books (fiction) often focus on very lonely and alienated characters who are placed in surreal worlds surrounded by colorful and memorable characters. Other fiction novels include: The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, A Wild Sheep Chase, Kafka on the Shore, and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.

Books One and Two

I personally flew through Books One and Two. Granted, I was on Spring Break at the time so I had loads of time on my hands, but even with that said I devoured the two books in only a few days. I couldn't put them down. The chapters use alternating point-of-view perspectives of the two main characters Aomame and Tengo. The descriptions are great, and the characters are very well developed. You really get inside the character's head and feel/think what he/she feels. On a side note, do you ever start speaking/thinking in the style of the current book you're reading? Yeah...me neither ;) Books One and Two are full of action leading up to a great climax. But with every climax there is also the possibility of an anti-climax. Which leads me to Book Three...

Book Three

I started reading Book Three a few months after I finished Books One and Two because other "life" stuff like school got in the way. But once I started reading I found that it was harder for me to be as captivated by the story as I was with the other books. It read a lot slower and wasn't nearly as thrilling, but it still had its redeeming qualities. I suppose the best is the fact another character point-of-view is added to the mix, Ushikawa, an odd man to say the least (you're reminded of this every other page). I guess what bothered me most about the third book was that it seemed rushed at the end and very anti-climatic and left so many things unanswered. I was left saying to myself "But what about so and so and this and that ..." But don't knock it, if you manage to read the first two books you'll inevitably want to read the third as well. It's not bad, just not as good as the first two :)

Overall, you get an interesting, not overly sci-fi, but sometimes quite surreal epic trilogy that makes you want to travel to Japan and check out all the places mentioned, eat food, and keep an eye out for interesting folks. Pros: Excellent character development Cons: Anti-climatic and rushed ending.

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