Book Review: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

1Q84 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I did it! I finally finished 1Q84. There were times I didn’t think I was going to make it. It was long. It was weird.

In the words of Michael Kelso….
“That was a wicked burn. I mean, it had all the elements. You didn’t see it coming… parts of it really hurt…”

I decided to read this based purely on the fact that the book was literally everywhere I turned. It showed up in magazines and on book lists. I had never read anything by this author. I read some reviews both in magazines and on Goodreads. They were all fairly vague so I really had no idea what to expect. Now I know why they were so vague. This book is over 900 pages long. Huge! And I’m sitting here trying to figure out how put my thoughts on paper but the book was so strange I just don’t know what to write.

It’s ultimately the story of Tengo and Aomame, a man and a woman living two very different lives. Their last memory of each other is of holding hands when they were 10. Twenty years later circumstances bind them together again in surprising ways. Along the journey the reader is subjected to murder, death, religious cults, incest, two moons,”little people” and the constant mention of cats, ears and breasts. Strange huh?

The story of Tengo and Aomame was an interesting one and I enjoyed how their narratives converged over the course of the book. What holds me back from saying I liked it is all the odd (and I mean really odd) people, places and things that are thrown in that really do not advance the story in any way. This book really would have benefited from some heavy editing. Some of the parts were redundant and over thought which made the book long and drawn out.

Overall, I’m glad I read it but I’m not sure I really understood it. But then that may just be the point. I’m not sure I would recommend this book as it may be more of an acquired taste. It’s one of those I don’t think you could hate but it can’t be wholeheartedly loved either.

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