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1Q84 | [Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)]

1Q84

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....

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Publisher's Summary

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.

VIDEO: Our narrators step in front of the camera to read your thoughts on Murakami.

©2011 Haruki Murakami (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (3922 )
5 star
 (1404)
4 star
 (1193)
3 star
 (713)
2 star
 (345)
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 (267)
Overall
3.8 (3393 )
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 (1236)
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2 star
 (292)
1 star
 (276)
Story
4.1 (3425 )
5 star
 (1662)
4 star
 (1008)
3 star
 (437)
2 star
 (172)
1 star
 (146)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Eucharia Kawasaki City, Japan 07-10-12
    Eucharia Kawasaki City, Japan 07-10-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narrators MANGLE the Japanese words."
    What made the experience of listening to 1Q84 the most enjoyable?

    The story was terrific, a beautifully-crafted arc.


    What other book might you compare 1Q84 to and why?

    The House of the Spirits by Isabelle Allende due to its use of allegory and magic realism.


    Would you be willing to try another one of the narrators’s performances?

    NO! Not after they butchered the Japanese language. Why could Japanese-speakers be found? After listening to "Born to Run" by Christopher Mc Dougall, in which Fred Sanders switches easily and naturally between English and Spanish, it was disgraceful that Japanese-speaking narrators were not used.


    Who was the most memorable character of 1Q84 and why?

    Tengo because of his core goodness.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Scarborough Broomfield, CO 04-26-12
    S. Scarborough Broomfield, CO 04-26-12 Member Since 2008

    Lit Lover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    74
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "BORING!!!!!"

    A waste of time. Boring characters, boring story line. Hours of my life I'll never get back.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marnita 04-17-12
    Marnita 04-17-12 Member Since 2004
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I don't think I got it"
    What disappointed you about 1Q84?

    I tried to get through this book, but I kept losing interest in the characters and story as it diverted into more surreal worlds. Maybe if I stuck with it I would have liked it better. But I don't have 46 hours to ramp up with a book. I do like fantasy and sci-fi, but I have to buy into the premise early on, which I think was missing from this book.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia DUBUQUE, IA, United States 01-30-12
    Cynthia DUBUQUE, IA, United States 01-30-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Odyssey of epic proportion"
    Where does 1Q84 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a very long audible but definitely worth the time.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This book takes a good, very long car ride.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jana L Petersen 01-29-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Huge disappointment"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    There are two essential problems with the story. First Murakami's prose is repetitive to the point of annoyance. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a literary technique, a translation issue, or simply an artifact of the book being written in three parts, but it is frustrating to listen to. Second, there are two narrators in the first two books, and a third narrator is added in book three. This is not only confusing but wholly unnecessary. It feels like a fault of poor editing, or more likely, laziness on Murakami's part.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The story is narrated by three characters, thus there are three narrators. Overall, the audiobook suffers from a lack of coordination of the three voices. Names are pronounced differently by each narrator, for example.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connor North Carolina 01-15-12
    Connor North Carolina 01-15-12 Member Since 2011

    Enjoy the adventure

    HELPFUL VOTES
    92
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    113
    99
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    14
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perfect book for someone in prison"

    One of the important themes of 1Q84 is that others make a majority of the important decisions for our life. Instead of being angry and wishing that different choices had been made, we should enjoy the circumstances of our life.

    The book is long and filled with descriptions of clothes, food, violence and sex. At times, wished the author, Haruki Murakami, had followed his own advice by limiting detailed descriptions for things that would be unfamiliar to readers (listeners).

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nancyshrode escondido, CA, United States 11-10-11
    nancyshrode escondido, CA, United States 11-10-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "WTF2"

    What a waste of credits. Boring. However I did not get completely through the book, couldn't do it. Too many other great books out there to read.

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary BIRMINGHAM, AL, United States 10-31-11
    Mary BIRMINGHAM, AL, United States 10-31-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "WTF!!!"

    If you like to listen to pornographic especially lesbian sex you'll love this book
    I thought it was very trashy and am SO MAD I wasted my credits

    39 of 122 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rashmi SHREWSBURY, MA, United States 11-02-11
    Rashmi SHREWSBURY, MA, United States 11-02-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not to my taste... I dont like it"

    I know literary work is a lot of effort and time. But this book is a waste of my money!

    Story line started nice but after that we have way to much description and lots of tangent stories that you loose interest. Its ok I'm not sure where this is leading too!!

    May be the original book is good but this version really sad!!

    I've been listening to it on 3x speed just to get thru and finish it.

    If I could return this I would!

    5 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Boyd reisterstown, MD, United States 02-24-12
    M. Boyd reisterstown, MD, United States 02-24-12 Member Since 2008

    Fashion diva

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dont buy this book!"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I don't know


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    don't know


    Did the narrators do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    no


    What character would you cut from 1Q84?

    all!


    Any additional comments?

    This book was extremely hard to follow; too many unnecessary details and interactions between the characters which do not contribute to the story.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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