Regular price: £29.99
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for £29.99
The publicity surrounding this novel has attracted listeners and readers who have not read Murakami's work before and the negative reviews that some of them have posted here are to be expected. He is not going to be everyone's idea of mesmerizing. But to me and others with whom his writings resonate he is long overdue a Nobel prize for literature.
1Q84 is rather orderly and less fantastical that his other novels but no less gripping. It works on a number of levels - his characters are still social misfits trying to fit in or trying to figure out if they even should, the plot weaves the mundane and dream-like fantasy into a single confused strand of narrative, and violence and sex create their endless ambiguities and problems for the participants.
The sex, whilst often graphic, makes an important point about the the hero and heroine that becomes clearer as the novel progresses. Indeed, the novel displays the triumph of true love over physical loving in a world where the latter has by and large eclipsed the former.
Morality is expertly examined as the novel continues to pose the question as to how to assign right and wrong to any given action, the means or the end; and, like anyone else who has engaged with ethics, never really finds it possible to make a final judgement.
Whilst the book is hardly fast-paced, it is a surprisingly good page-turner and the narration is just fine. It's rather flat in places, failing to deliver the right inflections, but Allison, Marc and Mark are suited to the characters they depict and the shortcomings are easily forgiven.
Every time I finish Murakami novel I can't wait to listen to another. Given how weird they can be, I do wonder what that might say about me! Whenever I try to explain his books to my wife she says, "you're not selling it to me." Perhaps his novels are best consumed by restless, inquiring souls. But I would urge everyone to at least try one. If you like it, then it will open up a whole library of joy.
45 of 47 people found this review helpful
This story starts slowly, but I enjoyed the detailed writing about Japanese society. Suddenly I didn't want to stop listening, I needed to know what happened. I will certainly download more by this author. Don't give up on this as it gets better and better.
30 of 32 people found this review helpful
Imagine how it would feel if you were a character within a narrative world - and knew it. To top it off the pesky author of the novel you live in keeps changing his mind. There are subtle differences in the way your world is articulated - mirroring the editing process.
There is a sense of melancholy in that some characters, such as the Leader, are unable to be something other than how they are figured in the narrative. He is restricted by this story world. His communiaction with the little people suggests his constructedness - he is aware of his fictionality - he knows he is merely a figment of an author's imagination, and is bound to do what the little people tell him to do.
I don't think I could get through this book by reading the print version. I've read a lot of Murakami's novels before, but this one is particularly long. In addition, there is a lot of layering to this novel, where there is the slightly nuanced repetition of story lines. It was nice listening to them- they are like the receding and returning tides of the ocean (yes, a weird simile, but you'll get what I mean if you listen long enough).
I highly recommend this to people who enjoy fantasy,science fiction, magic realism, narrative studies, Eng Lit majors, people who love Japan, Murakami, etc. etc.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I am a huge Murakami fan. I think his style is very suited to the audiobook format, especially as music features as almost another character. In addition to listening to the audiobook I also ended up downloading several songs, and searching for albums that the characters were listening to.
This is a vast novel, and if you have not encountered Murakami before, perhaps try something like the windup bird or a shorter story to begin with. For me, IQ84 is a wonderful story, that turns in on itself and was the perfect companion on a long hour long compute back and forward to the office.
It is a story about murder, history, cult religion, violence, family ties but at its heart it is about love. It is wonderful.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful