Friday, 9 December 2011

1Q84 - What's the verdict?

Original title: 1Q84 (ichi-kyu-hachi-yon)
Longlisted for the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize.
The year is 1984. Aomame sits in a taxi on the expressway in Tokyo.

Her work is not the kind which can be discussed in public but she is in a hurry to carry out an assignment and, with the traffic at a stand-still, the driver proposes a solution. She agrees, but as a result of her actions starts to feel increasingly detached from the real world. She has been on a top-secret mission, and her next job will lead her to encounter the apparently superhuman founder of a religious cult.

Meanwhile, Tengo is leading a nondescript life but wishes to become a writer. He inadvertently becomes involved in a strange affair surrounding a literary prize to which a mysterious seventeen-year-old girl has submitted her remarkable first novel. It seems to be based on her own experiences and moves readers in unusual ways. Can her story really be true?

Both Aomame and Tengo notice that the world has grown strange; both realise that they are indispensable to each other. While their stories influence one another, at times by accident and at times intentionally, the two come closer and closer to intertwining.

After what seemed a very long wait, the English translation of 1Q84 has now been out for a little over a month. And of course, it was available in some other languages around the world even earlier. So if you've had a chance to read it, tell us what you thought of it.

Is it his best one yet? Or were you disappointed?

How does 1Q84 compare to Murakami's other stories that you've read?

Who was your favourite character? Favourite scene? Any favourite quotes?

Were you satisfied with how the story ended? Would you like to see the story continue (Book Four perhaps)?

Or if you have any other thoughts or questions about the book, don't hesitate to bring them up.

Warning: For anyone who hasn't yet read the book, the comments may contain spoilers so please proceed at your own risk!

Here are some reviews of 1Q84 that have already been submitted to the Murakami Reviews Page by challenge participants:

Sam Still Reading - Books One & Two | Book Three
Tony's Reading List - Book One | Book Two
Book Dilettante

And in the process of reading:
Musings du Jour & Notes from Doug

How about you? If you've posted your thoughts about 1Q84 elsewhere (on your blog, Tumblr, Goodreads, Library Thing, etc.) let me know and I'll link to it here. You can either leave a comment with a link on this post, or send an email to murakamichallenge AT gmail DOT com.

We're also talking about 1Q84 over on In Spring it is the Dawn, so feel free to join us there as well.

For a list of reviews from mainstream print media, visit Exorcising Ghosts: Haruki Murakami Resources website.

1Q84 (in English) at: | | | |

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