'1Q84'

Recently, I've read several books that were good enough to recommend: Stephen King's 11/22/63, Lev Grossman's The Magician King, and Pascal Girard's Reunion, to name a few. The problem is that none of those books come as close to, well, perfect, as 1Q84.

To be fair, I haven't actually finished Haruki Murakami's "1Q84" yet, but this is because the process of reading it cannot be rushed. I'm going to go out on a corny limb here and actually put this next sentence in print. Reading "1Q84" is the literary equivalent of watching a flower bloom. The plot unfolds slowly, the direction of the book is kept mysterious, and the reader is drawn in to see what will happen next. The writing is wildly eloquent and the characters are fascinating. Only halfway through this book it already surpasses everything I've read since Jeffrey Eugenides Middlesex.

The story begins with the introduction of Aomame, who steps down a ladder and enters a parallel universe. Next, the story sits down with Tengo, a man who can write lyrically, but cannot create a story in which to lyricize. Soon afterward the audience is shown Fuka-Eri, a nearly monosyllabic teenage girl with wisdom beyond her years and a past she won't explain.

Comments

1Q84 is very well written, but the plot slows WAY down in the middle of the book to the point of dragging. The wait for Tengo and Aomame to meet could have been shortened by 300 pages with nothing lost. The end of the book seems rushed, and the story lines of characters introduced earlier in the plot are never completed, or even commented on again. In all, I enjoyed 1Q84, but wouldn't recommend it.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the book :)

After finishing 1Q84 I still found the book extraordinary. Many reviewers shared your opinion: that the book overshot itself and went on for too long. In my opinion, the slow close was essential to finishing the narrative, and I believe Murakami purposely left the side plots to the imagination of the reader. Here is one review that I feel explains his approach: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/23/magazine/the-fierce-imagination-of-haruki-murakami.html?pagewanted=all
To each their own!