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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this book had me hooked after about 20 minutes. its a love story between two people that spans two different parallell worlds. The narration is brilliant and each character is alive and you get to know them and there ways. An amazing book which i have to admit kept me away from the tv and up late until the end. I have added more books by the author for download when subs go out. cant wait tv boring anyway.
I initially thought this was a little slow at times, although I soon realised that the pace was actually a very relaxing read. The amount of detail, which initially seemed too much was actually waranted and allowed me to settle back and be taken on a journey while I listened. All in all, I found this both an interesting and leisurely read.
"An Amazing Masterpiece"
Murakami is one of the great writers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. His existential and mystic literary style enables a deep and penetrating insight into the nature of human beings and their relationship to their internal worlds and the worlds of some others about them. This is a love story which has a strong narrative drive and has the deepest insights concerning the compulsion of love. The descriptions of even the minor characters are finely drawn and as human as our closest friends. In this respect Murakami is as rich as Dickens in his characters but without the stage makeup.
Well read by a thoughtful and well chosen team and deserving all the time that you can spare to listen, reflect and listen again.
"good in parts"
the end: not worthy of the beginning or much of the middle. It just stops, but in a strange and up-beat way, leaving many story threads and characters hanging about. However from the start I knew it'd end with that device, so that annoyed me: I want the author to be better than that!
the plot: it's probable that the author knew about as we did about where this was going and how we'd get there. In our case it was a draw.
the feel: mesmeric; other-world; odd. Good.
overall: far, FAR too long, and repetative; I literally slept through several chapters, and actively skipped others, randomly (it makes no difference, if bored, go for it and then join back in); oddly but interestingtly translated and read, I liked the voices. I am giving 3 stars because the loss (rather than absence) of plot feels lazy - and maybe because I can't give myself fewer having stuck it out. I often longed for it to end - yet now it has, I kind of miss it.
Took some sticking with at times. I would say that I enjoyed it overall but I wouldn't recommend it especially highly. Perhaps a good one if you have lots of empty hours to fill - a literary minded truck driver perhaps.....
"Weird, Amazing, WEIRD. AMAZING"
This book is so engaging, and pulls you into another place. Whilst i listened i found myself completely absorbed by the characters, and the mysteries that are sometimes resolved, and sometimes left open will leave you pondering a lot.
The Japanese sensibilities are weird, the language is weird, the culture is weird, and fascinating for it. Its a bit graphic in its sexuality at times, but this does add to the weird feeling so i think is ok in its context.
I really enjoyed this book and recommend it highly, just be ready for the weird.
"Long - but kept me interested"
OK - so we have this 1Q84 universe and well - I expected more from the science - but the charaterisation and strory was pretty interesting - an insite into Japanese Westernised culture and quite fun. Worht a listen for sure.
"First book I ever gave up on."
I've never given up on a book before, let alone so near to the end but I realised that after a plot which moved forward so glacially slow that I had literally fallen asleep listening to it more than once - I honestly didn't care how the story finished or what happened to the very dull characters involved in it. I've read thousands of books and listened to maybe a hundred audio books of varying sizes (I usually aim for the epic-length ones though) and I've never given up on anything before - I just didn't expect the "climax" of this one to be any more than tepid like the rest of the story had been. The narrators I think were also poorly cast - not that they are poor narrators individually but they both have a very dry and gentle tone so that the two of them together left the delivery feeling very bland.
"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.
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