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)
I don't think it could be a 4 or 5 star for me. This was my first listen to this author, and, I think my last...I started skipping toward the last so that it could be over sooner...
I found the narrators tiresome. The monotone voice of the female, was not to my liking.
I believe the problem here was cultural differences. I personally could not make the leap over some of the character quirks. It also seamed unfinished.
Yes from both. I liked the performance and the story. It just went too long and had so much what turned out to be extraneous detail. The exact color of a package of food or the details of a label on a bottle of wine. It seemed like the author was afraid to leave anything to the reader's imagination.
First book that I've read by this author. I did read a short story and I liked that.
Very good. I have no problems with the narration just that the whole thing got tedious after a while.
Considering this story goes on for about 40 hours, very little happens. It meanders on and on. The pacing is poor, the plot is almost non existent, the milieu is so poorly developed it could have been set anywhere with carbon based life forms. The two main characters hardly went through any development.
The deep and sad irony is that this had the subplot of a character rewriting a work to make it more enjoyable. This book needed that treatment.
An excellent story and insight into modern Japan. The narration is first rate and the tale cleverly unfolds holding your interest to the end.
I am married with a teenage son and run my own business. As I am visually impaired, audio books are my life.
I thought it was a great story, very original and enjoyable. The problem was that it went for too long unnecessarily. There seemed to be a lot of duplication and repetitiveness. I would highly recommend this one though as it is very different.
This book is long. Very long. And while that in and of itself is not bad, it was difficult to not notice portions that seemed unnecessary and tedious. It is well written by most standards and an interesting story, but Murakami has set his bar so high with previous works like Kafka On the Shore and The Windup Bird Chronicle, that 1Q84 suffers by comparison. Many questions and plot threads are left completely unanswered or simply swept away in a sentence or two. This is particularly annoying because in a novel that is 46+ hours, it seems more time could have been devoted to wrapping up loose ends and less time toward star- (moon?) crossed lovers narrowly missing each other at various moments.
It's good, but not nearly as compelling as past works that I have enjoyed.
The narration is good, particularly the male readers.
I wasn't prepared for the multiple references to lesbian experiences or the descriptive flashbacks one character keep having. about his mother's affair. With explicit detail the author describes breasts, female parts, etc. This is not what I thought this book would contain. Unless you are into that walk away from it.
Leave the sexual experiences out or prep the reader about it's explicit nature
They both did a great job. Their accents made for good listening.
Curiosity at first. I wanted to know where the story plot was going. Then disappointment. I couldn't see the rest of the story through the sex and descriptions of orgasms.
If books have ratings this is rated R.
1. The narrators maintain a pretty consistent voice level and speak clearly.
1. The story wasn't super horrible.
1. The narrator for Aomame spoke slowly, as if she was reading for children.
2. A third narrator is added in part 3 for a character that played a minor role previously and drastically changed the voice of the character.
3. Descriptions, dialogue, and inner monologues often repeated the same points consecutively. He would often describe something the same way or have a character say or think the same thing in three consecutive sentences.
4. There were way too many pointless sex scenes. It was as if the author forgot he was writing a bad fantasy novel and thought instead that he was writing a bad romance novel at times. They did not drive the plot or add substance.
5. Characters jumped to irrational conclusions that were correct, presumably because the author couldn't find a sensible way to have the characters arrive that those conclusions any other way.
6. The author, or perhaps the translators, used the phrase "any number of times" to mean "many times," which is not the literal meaning of this phrase. Things like this are a pet peeve of mine, so this is more of a personal con.
I had not read or listened to any Haruki Murakami books before this. I've read reviews that say this is one of this worst books, but it has made me nervous about trying an other book of his. I'm most concerned that his repetitive way of describing things is part of his writing style.
No. The story started off really well and looked like a typical Murakami book. However, in the middle of the book the story just went bad and a character that was added basically ruined the story. Also, the voice for this character was annoying and made me want to fast forward all the chapters involving this character.
Yes. I have read most of his books. This was by far the most disappointing.
The first part of the story was really interesting. The story dropped off really fast though. If I had not invested so much time in the book I would have stopped listening.
No. Not a very good story.
Read/Listen Kafka by the sea or Norwegian Wood. Murakami has better books out there.
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