I am a huge Murakami fan. I think his style is very suited to the audiobook format, especially as music features as almost another character. In addition to listening to the audiobook I also ended up downloading several songs, and searching for albums that the characters were listening to.
This is a vast novel, and if you have not encountered Murakami before, perhaps try something like the windup bird or a shorter story to begin with. For me, IQ84 is a wonderful story, that turns in on itself and was the perfect companion on a long hour long compute back and forward to the office.
It is a story about murder, history, cult religion, violence, family ties but at its heart it is about love. It is wonderful.
There is a view that women like romance and men like jokes. Here you get both. The comedy lures you in and the romance hits you with a great emotional wallop.
This story follows the trajectories of Emma’s and Dexter’s lives, checking in on their intersecting lives once a year, every July 15, from 1988 through 2007. I laughed out loud, and it made me call up old friends. I loved everything about this audiobook, the narration is very well done and I didn't want it to end.
The romance, though, is handled in a bloke-friendly way. There is no sentiment, no gushing, nothing Mills & Boon-ish. Actions are left to speak for themselves and the emotions, quite realistically, are a bit of a tangled mess.
A lot depends on how you feel about the two main characters. I loved them, and I am sure you will to. Highly recommended.
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