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 realises, 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 Ltd
"It is a work of maddening brilliance and gripping originality, deceptively casual in style...vibrating with wit, intellect and ambition." (The Times)
"Eerie, suspenseful and packed full of gorgeous ordinary details and provocative extraordinary events...funny, fresh and intensely surreal. Unmissable." (Marie Claire)
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"Epic, in that their is no end!"
This book is truly amazing in that I have been listening to it for over a month, nothing has really happened and yet I'm still listening.
To say nothing happens isn't true, there is plot, but it takes soooooooo long to tell the story. This book could have been 15 hours and it wouldn't have lost anything.
Having said that, if I'm bored with a book I bin it and start another. So, over a month in and still listening! There must be something good about 1Q84 to keep me going, I just can't think what it is.
"drawn into a world which is a bit off kilter"
I absolutely loved this book and kept thinking I wished it would never end and was dreading the frequent let down of the ending of many books but was not disappointed. The two main characters are interesting and believable read beautifully by the 2 narrators. You are drawn into a world which is a bit off kilter - I would love to read a sequal about the Little People if he ever wrote it.
Deeply moving and brilliant storyline. You must read or listen to this book. Even at 46+ hours you don't want it to end.
"Would not recommend it"
This was not my usual genre, but I was in the mood for something different. Took me six weeks to get through it, I somehow managed to stick with it. The woman narration is very slow and half way through I got the bright idea to increase the narration speed. I am glad I listened to this book, but I don’t think I will read any more from this author. The story does seem to ramble on and on, and very conveniently wraps up at the end. It didn’t blow me away that’s for sure
Having just discovered this author,I am amazed and delighted by his imagination. Beautifully written,I love the way this author makes the reader wait to discover what the book is actually about. The narration was excellent. I really hope this author has written a lot of books.
"Glad I did but won't again"
If I had known what to expect, I wouldn't have chosen this, just not my style. However, it was compelling and intriguing, well read and I'm pleased I now know Murakami's style.
Original but drawn out and repetitively slow. Characters ok but not entirely engaging. A reduction in narrative and an increase in pace would have improved this book massively.
"Intriguing, but needs editing and better narrators"
As many earlier reviewers have commented, there are two fundamental flaws with this audiobook. Firstly, the book itself is far too long. This is Murakami's fault rather than anyone else's, and ironic given the emphasis on literary editing in the Tengo half of the book. Actions and thoughts are described at excruciating length, then recapped again and again.
The second problem is the narrator of the Aomame chapters (half the book), whose af-fec-ted-ly arch delivery, stuttering through every syllable, would get on anyone's nerves after a few minutes, never mind 20+ hours.
One other issue is the Americanised translation and narration, which may also grate on British listeners. Also, the two narrators haven't even agreed on how to pronounce some key terms (e.g. Sakigake).
The narration is painful, and the plot is dreadful. It was so bad on so many levels that I started to find it funny.
"1Q84 by murakami"
this is another brilliant book by Haruki Murakami. I loved every minute of it. now i am going to listen to The Wind Up Bird again
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