I think I waited for more than a year for Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. It must have been the press and the public anticipation because I can’t remember the last time I eagerly refreshed the “new books” tab every so often. I’ve made it quite clear in my previous Murakami-entries here and here that his stories have yet to fancy my taste. But his ingenious and creative reputation tainted my conscience guilty again, and I undoubtedly had to give him another chance. Unfortunately, it didn’t earn up to the anticipation.
The plot is as heavy and seemingly intricate as the physical weight of the book — there’s almost a thousand pages of chapters vacillating between two protagonists, Anomame and Tengo. I’m pretty sure you already know that Murakami is a loquacious writer with a style that wraps around the tiniest details. So it should be no surprise that the action doesn’t squeeze its way through until almost at the back cover.
Anomame is an assassin who engages in covert operations around the country. Her outer appearance suggests she works at a normal business firm. Tengo is an unpublished novelist who also works as a math tutor for grade school students. These two are somehow related. The book takes place in a fantasy world where the two characters live in a parallel universe. It starts out as suspenseful but somewhere along page 300-something infuriating narratives, the plot unravels as sort of romantic. Metaphysical love. They were leading completely separate lives for over two decades but it their lives cross paths again. Well, that’s after 270-something pages, maybe.
There are a lot of reviews out there that compare 1Q84 to 1984. But I honestly don’t see or have read the similarities. I don’t even really know exactly how 1Q84 is relevant to the rest of the book. I don’t suggest first time Murakami readers to pick this up. It’s draining to read especially because it’s impossible to finish in a setting. Maybe you should wait until the movie comes out. That’s only if there will be one…
dee’s recommendation: 3/5