If your memory of American History is like mine, Adams sort of gets sandwiched in between Washington and Jefferson. David McCullough sets out to change all that in this sweeping biography of the great and humble leader. After gaining an understanding through this book of how important Adams was to the success of the great American experiment in democracy, I felt that he should be carved on Rushmore right up there with the other founding fathers.
Haruki Marukami's unique blend of fantasy and reality is on vivid display in 1Q84. The penchant for placing unremarkable characters into fantastic situations, the detailed descriptions of impossible events, the nonchalant presentation of the supernatural, and the utter sincerity of his protagonists in accepting their places in a topsy-turvy world are all hallmarks of Murakami's highly original fiction. Part hard-core detective novel, part historical fiction, part fairy tale, and part love story - all mixed together into a rolling monster of a novel, and don't forget the political commentary and the sex. As you are drawn deeper into this strange and wonderful place, you'll find that it's perfectly natural that little people crawl out of the mouths of sleepers to weave giant cocoons out of lint in the night. It's just another normal day, except that today there are two moons instead of one. A secret underground headed by an old widow that tracks down sex criminals? Why not?
The eagerly awaited English translation does not disappoint, and the team of narrators assembled by Audible does a creditable job of delivering the book - especially Alison Hiroto. 1Q84 is destined to rank as one of Murakami's greatest novels, and Murakami is unquestionably one of the most imaginative writers of our age. Even if you've never read him before, this book would be a fine place to start. At 47 hours, it's a commitment on the scale of War and Peace, but you will find yourself sorry to see it come to an end. Just like Aomame and Tengo, you may find that you'll want to stay in 1Q84 forever.
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