* A new feature of this blog will be short reviews on books. Partly, I wanted to keep track of what books I read, but I also wanted to offer suggestions to any fellow reader!
1Q84, Haruki Murakami (2009)
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Quick Summary : Written in alternating chapters predominantly between leading characters Tengo and Aomame. The reader will soon discover that the characters are living in a sort of parallel universe that involves magical realism. Throughout the novel, there are conflicts with Saigake (a religious organization that is often accused of being a cult with revolutionary tendencies). Both Tengo and Aomame play essential roles in the development of the story, sometimes surprising the reader in more ways than one. The book is about 1,000 pages and covers several smaller story lines though out, which ultimately aids the protagonists’ abilities to figure what exactly it means to live in this parallel world.
Thoughts : This book is very difficult to put down once you start reading it. Not only is the story line enticing, but also Murakami’s writing (or perhaps rather the translation of his writing) is simply quirky to the point that keeps the reader ‘in the loop’ but also slightly confused as to what will happen next. 1Q84 invokes near every emotion one could think of: love, hate, loss, sadness, confusion, anger, content, etc. After finishing there are a few events that still did not make sense despite the heart-warming conclusion, which is perhaps Murakami’s intent; although I desperately want to know more about these supporting characters and why they had to go through these terrible events (read the book and you will understand), it did force me to go to the library directly after finishing the novel and get two more of Murakami’s novels. I guess I am hoping to find the answers to 1Q84‘s unfinished stories in some of his other works.
Recommended for : Teenagers and young adults interested in Sci-Fi, parallel universes, or unconventional love stories would enjoy this novel. There are a few mature scenes (both violent and sexual) that younger or more sensitive readers may find uncomfortable. For me, they were important to the story line and character building. Over all, very interesting and good for readers that normally think they can ‘figure out’ a book while reading it – my challenge to you is to actually ‘figure out’ this quick and shocking novel.
Read 1Q84? Comment your thoughts below!