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1Q84 Audiobook


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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 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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

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  • Victoria Pye
    Worcestershire, England

    I got nearly halfway through this audiobook but gave up because the storyline was unrewarding and I found the sexualisation of school girls disturbing. I'm not referring to the rapes by 'Baddies' but by the protagonist Tengo's obsession with the pubescent and prepubescent form.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Sean Inglis
    "Unapologetically rambling and surreal"

    This isn't a book for people who like every loose end neatly tied up, and every mechanism explained. I don't level that as a criticism - Groundhog Day for instance doesn't make any effort to supply a reason for anything happening, and it's all the better for it.

    There are many surreal passages, partly the events, partly I suspect the alien nature of the culture being described (alien to me, anyway). Looked at coldly, there's a fair bit of repetition, but this has a hypnotic, layered and atmospheric effect.

    The three narrators give great performances, with light Japanese accents that remain easy to understand but underscore the location.\

    There's hardly any point in attempting to describe the plot, but there are many satisfying moments, built out of apparently nothing, yet still leaving a mark.

    A last warning; if you're out and about, make absolutely certain you have your headphones plugged in. There are quite a few sex scenes that although not gratuitous or pointlessly foul-mouthed, are explicit enough that you wouldn't want them broadcast in the queue at Tesco.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Philip
    cheltenham, United Kingdom
    "Overlong and under-planned"

    OK - it sounds worth a credit given that it's 6 volumes of listening and if you're a Murakami fan, like me, it's an instant decision to download it. Beware! This is NOT Wind-up Bird Chronical. It sounds as if it's been made up as he went along - and couldn't work out where to stop. The characters are well done, as usual, but the plot is thin and takes hours to get nowhere, with endless repetitions. It needs a good edit certainly, but even then it probably isn't worth the effort.

    Murakami's usual brilliant prose is lacking (possibly lost in translation, but nevertheless uninteresting) and the elements of magical realism are almost laughably rediculous. The story-within-a-story idea isn't strong enough to carry the novel and one wishes that there was some element of Vonnegut's Kilgour Trout (who, hilariously, realises that he is a character in a novel) humour in there. Sadly it's all rather dour and serious (unless you are laughing at it, rather than with it), even when the little people emerge from the mouth of a dead goat....

    Anyway, my tip for Murakami lovers is to pass this one by and wait for the next...

    PS - note for American audio narrators: "route" is not the same word as "rout"; "shone" rhymes with "gone", not with "bone"....

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Wirral, United Kingdom
    "Drags on pointlessly"

    Good points:
    Long - you get your monies worth.
    Quirky and imaginative - makes you think for the first few hours.

    Bad points:
    Long - it drags on and on with no real progression in the story.
    Boring and unlikeable characters - just my opinion, could just be a cultural thing I don’t get.
    Despite the quirky 1q84 thing the book just began to bore me.
    Annoying female narrator - her fairy like voice and odd rhythmic way of narrating drove me mad. The male narrators were ok.

    To sum it up I'd say its Norwegian Wood meets Lost.

    24 of 33 people found this review helpful
  • Clive
    Bangor UK
    "Disappointing and Overlong"

    I can see that this novel has some literary merit and I imagine that it has a greater significance in the cultural context of Japan. However, I found it a very disappointing audiobook. There is a story in there but it is far too long and embraces too much trivial and unnecessary detail. What might have been an epic was rather more of a bore. It was also spoilt by the narration - in particular, the female narrator seemed to treat the task as though it were a remedial reading class in primary school and I found her tone and delivery very irritating. I love audiobooks and this is the first one I have found disappointing.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Dermot
    Kingsbury, United Kingdom

    I've got through about six hours of this but am giving up- the narration goes from bland emotionless male narrator to 'bedtime story for six year olds' female narrator. I was willing to put up with it until the female character started to recap earlier events; they weren't that interesting the first time round.

    19 of 27 people found this review helpful
  • Patrick
    Morpeth, United Kingdom
    "1Q84 welcome to this world"

    Kept me listening for 5 weeks, addictive, not as surreal as some writers make out, belief is easily suspended.
    An intimate glimpse into japanese society that most Westerners know little about. The whole novel isn't a 5 star for me, but that is not to detract from it, the readers were superb.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • alexac2812
    "spectacular. my third murakami... best yet"

    just what I have come to expect from murakami but still fresh and intriguing nonetheless. great read, great performance- wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ashley
    "Amazing performance and delightful details."

    1Q84 was my first Murakami novel, and I was a bit daunted by the seer size of it. However, I decided it would be a good book for my daily commute and bought it.

    The voice actors were truly well chosen. All of them have the right tone and depth to captivate you. They are skilled at performing many different characters and the right timing for you to keep up.

    Murakami dabbles a lot with metaphors and whimsy. The story has many twists and turns and concludes in way that may not satisfy all, indeed I had to listen to the final chapter a few times to full grasp it.

    I did finally understand Murakami's reasoning for the end and I think with much of his writing he likes to leave a lot up to the reader to decide. The amount of detail is incredible and the reader feels fully engrossed in the world of 1Q84.

    I throughly enjoyed this book and was a little sad that it had to end. I will definitely be trying his other titles.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • jo
    "New type of story telling !"

    Brilliant , could have been a little bit stronger at the end ,but great book great narration ,

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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