1Q84

1Q84

Book - 2011
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"Murakami is like a magician who explains what he's doing as he performs the trick and still makes you believe he has supernatural powers . . . But while anyone can tell a story that resembles a dream, it's the rare artist, like this one, who can make us feel that we are dreaming it ourselves." -- The New York Times Book Review
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The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

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.

A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell's-- 1Q84 is Haruki Murakami's most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9780307593313
0307593312
Branch Call Number: MURAKAMI
Characteristics: 925 pages ; 24 cm.

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From Library Staff

"The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo. 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..." - GoodReads


From the critics


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b
Birdtrovert
Apr 16, 2021

I got to Book 2 but had to stop. I tried listening to the audio book version but still couldn't get into it. Some chapters would just drag on; like, there was half of a chapter just dedicated to the one character wanting to kick men in the private parts. Is this necessary? Even with everything we learn about this character, there are random moments that don't fit in at all. Chapters and pages were wasted on things of no importance and the actual "story" seemed to only appear every so often before being drowned out.

I liked After Dark and Wind-Up Bird Chronicle but 1Q84 was disappointing, confusing, slow and not worth it.

s
Spokoj
Mar 13, 2021

A great piece of fiction that makes you think about supposed reality in new ways.

n
nathaliecorrea1220
Feb 20, 2021

I went into this novel blindly. I did not know what it consisted of.
I thought it was an okay storyline with aspects that made it mediocre. 3/5 stars at most. I have some mixed feelings about it. At first, I enjoyed learning about this world of 1Q84, which is a reference to Orwell’s 1984. The title of the novel struck interest as me, as 1984 is one of my personal favorite classics. I enjoyed the lead female, Aomame. She was very strong and took matters into her own hands. I would love to read a book about her re-written by another author. The book was intriguing and without a doubt the product of an unusual mind. However, It had some issues. One in specific that made the novel very uncomfortable at some parts. From beginning to end, there was this sense of hyper-sexualization towards women. All women were introduced with descriptions of their bodies, specifically their breasts. They would be continued to be brought up constantly throughout the story and mentioned at completely irrelevant points. The author sounded like a child fantasizing, rather than an older man telling a story. This felt very odd. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t overthinking things and checked some online forums. I quickly learned that I was not the only one who picked up on this. Apparently this was a common theme in Murakami’s writing. That of which has earned him a lot of critics in his home country of Japan. I would suggest that one reads into what the novel consists of before deciding to read it.

1
1aa
Dec 01, 2020

I was really anticipating reading and loving this book, but I was greatly disappointed. Its gets going very slowly. Oddities pop up here and there in the first 500 pages or so, whetting one's appetite. The work only gets going in the last 500 pages or so as the accumulated oddities are slowly woven together. The writing is prosaic in the worst sense: lacking in the semantic loam of metaphors, allusions, and connotations; its reads rather flatly.
There are two substories, the first about a cat town (p.502ff), and the second a summary of the story of the little people (p.672ff), both of which were more interesting than the main fare.

r
rmproffitt
Jul 07, 2020

I have been reading Murakami for several years now and I love that his novels are getting longer and longer. I crave more of his stories. The detail makes it all seem real and yet not real at the same time. 1Q84 is just enough surreal that you know it is not this universe; and yet you can't help but wonder if the events actually took place.

a
andreabilyeu
Apr 23, 2020

Very much like a Stephen King novel. Starts off in the normal, everyday world and quickly changes into another world. You follow along as the characters are trying to figure out what's happened/happening.

JCLJENNYT Mar 30, 2020

So this was my second read through of this book and it was just as weird and bizarre as I remembered if not more so. There is something about Murakami's writing that has a magnetism to it and no other writer quite hits the same way making him one of the most unique writers I've ever come across. Every time I open one of his books I never know the direction he's going to go and its really refreshing as a reader.

1Q84 is somewhat unique to Murakami's writing because he equally splits time with two characters and one character is indeed female which kind of goes outside of his typical style. Aoname and Tengo are the most normal characters in the book and the main focus but even they are on a weird adventure to find one another. I'm not sure if this book counts as a love story because the main characters haven't seen each other in 20 years and since they were children and don't see each other for most of the duration of the novel. Either way if you think you know where this novel is going I guarantee you that you are wrong.

b
beetlebaily
Feb 14, 2020

At its core, it is;a superb love story, fantastical, excellent writing. really, really long but gripping. I gave it a 5 out of 5 rating.

b
bluebaby1320
Aug 23, 2019

interesting book.

l
LeaLibrary
Apr 07, 2019

A lively story telling, I enjoyed the cultural references and means of telling a story. Intrigued by the parallels of the parallels that might be drawn from this book. It was a good read.

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Quotes

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daydreamer6O4 Dec 19, 2016

“If you can love someone with your whole heart, even one person, then there's salvation in life. Even if you can't get together with that person.”

m
michellelee_0
Jul 28, 2016

"If you can't understand it without an explanation, you can't understand it with an explanation. "

s
sky123
Mar 05, 2015

... And a flash of lightning lit up this truth for me, right in front of my eyes. that night I lost you, I also lost something inside me. Or perhaps several things. Something central to my existence, the very support for who I am as a person... It was no longer the blazing anger I used to have It had transformed into something more like a faintly colored sorrow..." "I can't feel the pure, intense anger I used to have anymore ..." "It hasn't completely disappeared, but like you said, it has withdrawn to someplace far away. For years this anger has occupied a large part of me. It's been what has driven me." "Like a merciless coachman who never rests ..." p934-5

j
john_doh17
Oct 26, 2014

Either I'm funny or the world's funny. I don't know which. The bottle and the lid don't fit. It could be the bottle's fault or the lid's fault. In either case there's no denying that the fit is bad pg 111.

j
john_doh17
Oct 26, 2014

People need things like that to go on living-mental landscapes that have meaning for them, even if hey can't explain them in words. Part of why we live is to come up with explanations for these things. Pg 516

j
john_doh17
Oct 26, 2014

It is not that the meaning cannot be explained, but there are certain meanings that are lost forever the moment they are explained in words. Pg 466

j
john_doh17
Oct 26, 2014

If you can't understand it without an explanation, you can't understand it with an explanation. Pg 413

k
kn1226
May 28, 2014

You can't generalize about pain. Each kind of pain has its own characteristics. To rephrase Tolstoy's famous line, all happiness is alike, but each pain is painful in its own way.

singsangsung333 Jul 28, 2013

"The most important thing is to maintain balance between the constantly moving good and evil. If you lean too much in either direction, it becomes difficult to maintain actual morals."

crooked_kate Jul 28, 2012

True, rewriting the past probably had almost no meaning, Tengo felt. His older girlfriend had been right about that. No matter how passionately or minutely he might attempt to rewrite the past, the general circumstances in which he found himself would remain generally unchanged. Time had the power to cancel all changes wrought by human artifice, overwriting all new revisions with further revisions, returning the flow to its original course. A few minor facts might be changed, but Tengo would still be Tengo.

What Tengo would have to do, it seemed was take a hard look at the past while standing at the crossroads of the present. Then he could create a future, as though he were rewriting the past. (Part II, p. 364)

Age

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nathaliecorrea1220
Feb 20, 2021

nathaliecorrea1220 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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sonu_n
Feb 12, 2019

sonu_n thinks this title is suitable for 21 years and over

Last_Nights_Readings Nov 07, 2015

Last_Nights_Readings thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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bruce3miller
Aug 29, 2014

bruce3miller thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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RTaurus
Jun 28, 2014

RTaurus thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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mcla85
Jan 03, 2014

mcla85 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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Matthew Rohaly
Jun 26, 2013

Matthew Rohaly thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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cheesebread
Dec 11, 2012

cheesebread thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Summary

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m
michellelee_0
Jul 28, 2016

Star-crossed lovers and their search for each other in the midst of getting tangled up with murders and cults in a new fantasy world.

e
elinpat
Apr 24, 2012

Fantasy takes place in Japan. Parallel worlds. A page turner and a love story.

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