I love Murakami. One of my favorite books is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and I enjoyed Sputnik Sweetheart and Dance Dance Dance. But 1Q84 is a totally different animal. It's as if Murakami is taunting us: "Yes, I can write something completely different. Why? Because I can."
To think that 1Q84 is more than a thousand pages, Murakami at least could have answered some of the questions the reader would have in his mind. Instead, we are left wondering. Who are the Little People? Why do they make air chrysales? What's that alternate universe all about? What the hell is the problem with Fuka-Eri?
At heart 1Q84 is a love story involving the two protagonists: Tengo, the writer and mathematics teacher, and Aomame, the assassin who first realizes that they're living in another parallel universe. We do realize that Tengo and Aomame are destined to be together, as Murakami drops not-so-subtle hints that these two will become a couple. But must it really take a thousand pages?
If you're a Murakami fan, there are still lots of familiar elements in 1Q84 to make you feel at home. There's the weird sex, the weird goings-on, the weird fascination with earlobes, the weird inclusion of cats in the story. However, 1Q84 feels distinctly different from his other works. It feels a lot like it was done by a Hollywood writer drunk on sake.
Read this book if:
- You love Murakami.
- You like all things weird.
- You've been a ghostwriter at one point in your life.