8.11.2016

Back to Back Book Reviews

It has taken me nearly three months of sometimes committed, sometimes sporadic reading to finish Haruki Murakami's 1Q84. This was quite an undertaking for my first Kindle read but I am pleased and proud for sticking to it. I saw the physical book in the bookstore and it had to be at least two inches thick and very close to a thousand pages long. Now that I've completed the book, I have to ponder whether its length was truly necessary. I am no literary genius and certainly not here to insult a book that was eloquently written and tremendously descriptive; just wondering if so many things needed to be described so thoroughly.
It will be very difficult for me to summarize the story but I'll give it the old college try. A young woman named Aomame finds herself transported from the year 1984 to some sort of alternate universe she dubs 1Q84; it is the same but different. Aomame is a fitness instructor/hired assassin doling out vigilante justice to men who do bad things to women on behalf of a wealthy dowager. Another character named Tengo, to whom Aomame is tied through childhood, is talked into dubiously ghost-writing a novel written by a strange girl named Fuka-Eri about Little People called Air Chrysalis. In publishing this tale, they expose the secrets of a religious cult whose leader is posed to be assassinated by Aomame for crimes against young girls. The goal of the book is ultimately to reunite Tengo and Aomame, who had lost touch twenty years prior, and have them escape of the danger posed by the land of two moons. Crazy right?
All that being said, I found this book to be very intriguing. The characters were extremely developed and deeply explored. Because 1Q84 is three books compiled into one, there are many sub-stories that are intricately entwined, each told from the perspective of several characters. Though guilty of being a bit too wordy and perhaps straying at times toward the mediocre in the sense of detail, it absolutely kept my interest. Would I recommend it? Hard to say. You have to be willing to really commit to this book but I can say it was tied up nicely for the most part, except for the story that could potentially still be left to be told.

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