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Publisher's Summary

Earphones Award Winner (AudioFile Magazine)

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.

Critic Reviews

"This imaginative, lengthy novel satisfies as a mystery, fantasy, and humorous coming-of-age tale—all blended with the vagaries of love and loss in a dystopia mired in strange cults and mathematical/musical dreamscapes. One surmises that it's no accident that the book's enigmatic title relates to George Orwell's 1984." (AudioFile)
“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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,898
  • 4 Stars
    2,006
  • 3 Stars
    1,047
  • 2 Stars
    492
  • 1 Stars
    348

Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3,361
  • 4 Stars
    1,615
  • 3 Stars
    634
  • 2 Stars
    237
  • 1 Stars
    188

Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,577
  • 4 Stars
    1,626
  • 3 Stars
    997
  • 2 Stars
    427
  • 1 Stars
    384
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • CG
  • 04-20-12

Irritating

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I'm not sure who would enjoy it more...clearly some people have since there are favorable reviews. I do like science fiction. I don't mind creepiness if the story is good. This book had me rolling my eyes.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Maybe a detective story

What aspect of the narrators’s performance would you have changed?

Maybe Hiroto's performance. Her narration was so void of feeling, but maybe that added to the story.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I was hoping for some interesting and thought provoking ideas. I guess there may have been a couple but I was really not impressed.

Any additional comments?

It almost seems as if the book was written in parts as a short story since there is so much repetition. I don't understand that.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Unique and interesting read.

If you could sum up 1Q84 in three words, what would they be?

Nothing better than a well-written long book that is well-narrated and tells a unique story. A few weak points towards the end but still one of the best books I've ready in a while.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Rachel
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • 04-19-12

Incredibly engaging audiobook

Where does 1Q84 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top 25% of the audiobooks I've listened to.

What did you like best about this story?

The story was engaging from the beginning and I liked how the characters moved towards each other with the repetition of symbols. The differences between the readers voices helped separate the characters as distinct people which added to the story, as the gradual merging began to intertwine storylines.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Performance leaves some to be desired

What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

The narrators all sound like an Asians speaking English as a second language. E ver y sy lla ble was sound ed out. It was hard to get a good flow with that type of narration

Any additional comments?

The story was very good and entertaining, although slow at times.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Loooooooooonnnnnnnng, Slooooooow and Repetitive

The female reader is painfully slow, the story slows and starts and information is constantly repeated. Edited down, the interesting bits might take up 1/3rd of the total time of this book. An abridged version would be something to consider.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not worth the read.

Would you try another book from the authors and/or the narrators?

No.

Would you ever listen to anything by the authors again?

No.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The voices were excellent.

Any additional comments?

This book had a unique and interesting storyline that did keep me listening until the end - however at the end of the book I realized that the graphic sexual experiences and child sexual abuse seemed to be added to the book merely for the sensationalism and for no other purpose. These scenes could have been completely omitted and the story would have been the same. I am sorry that I ever listened to this book - and I cannot recommend it at all.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

BE CAREFUL!

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!

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  • Story

Incredibly unique story

Very long book, but Murakami keeps your interest throughout. The story is very unique with interesting characters and crazy plots!

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  • Andrew
  • Portland, ME, United States
  • 04-13-12

far better than expected...

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.

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  • MD
  • 04-10-12

Mesmerizing

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.