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.
BONUS AUDIO: Audible interviews the translators of 1Q84, Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel.
©2011 Haruki Murakami (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"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)
“Profound . . . A multilayered narrative of loyalty and loss . . . A fully articulated vision of a not-quite-nightmare world . . . A big sprawling novel [that] achieves what is perhaps the primary function of literature: to reimagine, to reframe, the world . . . At the center of [1Q84’s] reality . . . is the question of love, of how we find it and how we hold it, and the small fragile connections that sustain us, even (or especially) despite the odds . . . This is a major development in Murakami’s writing . . . A vision, and an act of the imagination.” (David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times)
“1Q84 is one of those books that disappear in your hands, pulling you into its mysteries with such speed and skill that you don’t even notice as the hours tick by and the mountain of pages quietly shrinks . . . I finished 1Q84 one fall evening, and when I set it down, baffled and in awe, I couldn’t help looking out the window to see if just the usual moon hung there or if a second orb had somehow joined it. It turned out that this magical novel did not actually alter reality. Even so, its enigmatic glow makes the world seem a little strange long after you turn the last page. Grade: A.” (Rob Brunner, Entertainment Weekly)
Once you get through this book, you'll crave more Haruki Murakami.
I now understand what it means by "Masterful". Sure Milan Kundera is 'masterful" but this book is amazing on so many different levels. Love it! Love it! Love it!
Recommended to most of my friends. Not a book for dopes, or those looking for "a good read". The author is the real deal, and the book an interesting blend of low brow and high brow. Pleasantly unsensational, sweet, hopeful, and bizarre. Very well voiced by the three readers, be prepared for a long ride through multiple time space continuums.
The slow pace of the book definitely takes some getting accustomed to, but once I did I didn't want to stop listening to it. The writing is superb, the characters are fascinating, and the story is compelling...until the end. I won't spoil anything but the ending was a bit flat and is really the only reason I didn't give this book five stars. Still it's a great book that's well narrated, and well worth your credit and your time.
The book makes you inquisitive early on, but becomes very ambiguous and a drag. The intriguing events and circumstances becomes an array of illogical descriptions by the middle of the book which are then dragged repetitively till the end without anything new unfolding or any attempt to stimulate further curiosity.
Very long and boring...
Page-turner, captivating, mind-puzzling
Aomame, a secret murderer with a unique technique who transforms into a brilliant, sympathetic, woman as gentle and as strong as a whisper.
Tengo, a strong character, whom the narrator brought to life. The narrator's voice suited Tengo's personality very well.
Tengo finding Aomame in the air chrysalis at the age of 10 years old. Very unpredictable at that point.
The interview with the translators was interesting, I enjoyed that part. The entire book was an exceptional, well-written, well-narrated book. Tengo and Aomame stayed with me even when I wasn't listening and I couldn't wait to get back to the story. It was so well done, and even though I knew it was time for the story to end when it did, I will miss the relationship between the story and the listener. Excellent books, books that are so well written that they can fill 47 hours of listening time without a lag of dullness or boredom are far and few between. I hope Haruki Murakami has many more stories to tell us; I hope that the English translators can match the work well done by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel; and I hope that the narrators Allison Hiroto (so very well spoken!), Mark Vietor, and Mark Boyett are there to bring the pages to life!
If the author hadn't felt it was necessary to explore in detail the sex between the characters. I always expect sex to be explicit when men write, where women authors focus more on romance, but this author went overboard with the lesbian sex, the mixing and matching of multiple partners and the focus on detailing every female body part. I usually stay away from books by men authors i'm not familiar with, but I really thought that a Japanese author would be so much more refined in his writing and wouldn't stoop to such lurid and distasteful pros.
I really enjoyed the quietness of the young lady.
The young lady.
BIG Disappointment! I really was looking forward to a long book that kept my attention. I know some people enjoy reading about loose sex, but I don't at all. Even though sex is part of life, so is diarrhea but I don't want someone to describe it in detail from every angle. Clean it up!
When are we going to get Clear Play for books?
I wanted sincerely to enjoy this book. I had never read anything by Murakami and when I heard about this book recently coming out (and going on a B1G1 sale) I jumped at the chance to pick it up.
The download of this book was broken into 6 parts because of how long it was and I stopped sometime in part 5. I usually enjoy listening to good books but this one had me falling asleep and bored out of my mind. I felt as though Murakami was channeling Herman Melville and Dostoyevsky at the same time. The plot WOULD NOT MOVE.
When I got to the point where I was contemplating fast forwarding and skipping chapter, I decided it was time to put this book down.
I usually push my way through a book even if I dont like it or enjoy it, just so I can give it the chance that it deserved, but when I got to the "I no longer want to listen" point, there was another 12 hours to go. No way was I doing that.
I had to put this book down and go and listen to the Hitchhiker's Guide again just to regain my "sanity" and appreciation for a good listen.
Very Picky Music Man
I would recommend the printed or digital book, but not the audiobook. I found the narration to be agonizing at times. I don't blame the actors, but whoever directed them.
Allison Hiroto's narration was robotic when performing Aomame. NO normal person enunciates every syllable the way she did. And the Dowager...I dreaded every time her character entered the story. E-ver-y wo-rd e-nun-ci-at-Ed and spoken ridiculously slow. My grandmother is an 80 year old immigrant whose second language is English and she sure doesn't speak like that.
Tengo's narrator was pretty good. All of the characters narrated by this actor came off as believable, relatable, and essentially very human (besides the Fuka-Eri moments). The only time this suffered was when the writing got silly. there were whole passages of Fuka-Eri would as something, and Temfo would just repeat it.
This book had many book within a book moments. I like when stories are about telling stories. Very Gaiman.
Only one, if I find out who voiced Tengo. I would rather not hear the other two voices for the rest of my life.
No, this is already a compiled trilogy.
It's about in the middle, not terribly memorable in narration, as the narrator kept a rather flat style, which fits the tone of the book. It's not Murakami's most engaging book, but I still love his world where things are just a bit off kilter.
I like the strangeness of it, the fact that everything isn't totally explained and it's very imaginative. Also love is a triumphant force.
The narrators were fine, i don't think this would have been all that different read or listened to.
Aomame was an interesting combination of strength and vulnerability.
I wouldn't recommend this as a first book by this author. It's better to start with Kafka on the Shore or The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. Maybe because this came out as a serial, there is a lot of repetition, which lengthens the book without adding value.
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