1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
Books 1 And 2

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Synopsis

Haruki Murakami is an international phenomenon. When Books One and Two of his latest masterpiece, "1Q84", were published in Japan, a million copies were sold in one month, and the critical acclaim that ensued was reported all over the globe. Readers were transfixed by the mesmerising story of Aomame and Tengo and the strange parallel universe they inhabit. Then, one year later, to the surprise and delight of his readers, Murakami published an unexpected Book Three, bringing the story to a close. In order to reflect the experience of "1Q84's" first readers, Harvill Secker is publishing Books One and Two in one beautifully designed volume and Book Three in a separate edition. A long-awaited treat for his fans, "1Q84" is also a thrilling introduction to the unique world of Murakami's imagination. This hypnotically addictive novel is a work of startling originality and, as the title suggests, a mind-bending ode to George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four". (The number 9 in Japanese is pronounced like the letter 'Q'). 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.
 

About Haruki Murakami

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Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. He is the author of many novels as well as short stories and non-fiction. His works include Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, After Dark and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. His work has been translated into more than forty languages, and the most recent of his many international honours is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J.M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V.S. Naipaul.
 
Published October 1, 2011 by Harvill Secker. 624 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for 1Q84

BC Books

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In a sense it is a metaphor for 1Q84, just as they narrator in the story is stuck in the city of cats, Aomame and Tengo, it seems, are stuck in IQ84.

Sep 03 2012 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

Examiner

The central motifs of the novel are intriguing: the moon, Janáček's “Sinfonietta” and George Orwell’s “1984.” These motifs develop significance as the novel progresses and the protagonist’s tales intertwine.

Oct 24 2011 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

Book Reporter

His prose is both so cool and so confident and convincing that readers are likely to find themselves settling into it --- and its accompanying worldview and world-building --- without even thinking about the emotional and ethical implications until later.

Aug 09 2011 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

Suite 101

A love story set in the Punjab in the early 1800s, but with some very modern themes regarding identity, religious understanding and personal loyalties.

Dec 07 2011 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

San Francisco Chronicle

Her new world mirrors the one to which she had grown accustomed throughout her entire life, but she soon notices staggering physical changes around her.

Oct 30 2011 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

Tampa Bay Times

His best-known novels — A Wild Sheep Chase, Kafka on the Shore and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle — have even established Murakami as something of a cult author among college-aged readers.

Nov 12 2011 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

Macleans

The Eastern-style one, led by a Big Brother figure who understands people’s need for stories as well as any novelist, is reminiscent of Aum Shinrikyo—responsible for the 1995 Sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway system, about which Murakami wrote a non-fiction work, prophetically entitled Underg...

Nov 15 2011 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

We Love This Book

Moving through mysterious novels within novels and fictions within fictions, playing with themes of identity and reality, 1Q84’s first two books (rolled into this single volume) follow the interchanging narratives of Aomame and Tengo, two characters drawn closer together by a series of surreal ev...

Oct 18 2011 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

The Tengo-Aomame attachment – their love itself – is absurd, and this absurdity calls into existence a strange alternative world – 1Q84, the world with a question mark – with a second, “moss-green” moon.

Dec 31 2011 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

Portland Book Review

Murakami’s book 1Q84 opens with Aomame walking down an emergency exit on a busy Tokyo expressway.

Apr 02 2012 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

Bookmarks Magazine

Far reaching, accomplished, Byzantine, unique, at times impenetrable: 1Q84 is destined to become a lightning rod not only in the body of Murakami's work but in the burgeoning genre of New Weird fiction that breaks the rules even as it continues to attract readers.

Oct 17 2011 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

Chamber Four

The book isn’t written well, but there’s something special about the story (what that is, Murakami frustratingly makes you wait 500-700 pages to find out, slowly leaking details of the story as they become pertinent to the plot of 1Q84), and Komatsu devises a plan in which Tengo will rewrite the ...

Feb 22 2012 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

Curious Book Fans

“If you can’t understand it without an explanation, you can’t understand it with an explanation” says one of the characters in Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84, and to an extent this highlights the dilemma of any reviewer of this book.

Nov 28 2011 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

Red Room

If you like short books, then I suggest you stop reading this review right now , at nearly 1000 pages in the print edition it is a behemoth of a book.

Sep 15 2012 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

io9

In his portrait series The Composites, Brian Joseph Davis uses law enforcement composite software to see determine how these characters literally look.

| Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

The American Book Center Blog

There are moments when you wonder whether knowing what someone prepared for their dinner is really necessary, and I entirely agree with Katherine’s comment that the book would have benefitted from some stricter editing, but Murakami is able to drag the reader so deeply into his world that you eas...

Dec 12 2011 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

Dominion of New York

1Q84 also treads close to being a grandly conceived yet still slightly pulpy melodrama, something like a more fantastical Atlas Shrugged.” “Even at a daunting 932 pages, Japanese cult superstar Haruki ­Murakami’s breathlessly awaited 1Q84 is one of those books that ­disappear in your hands, pull...

Oct 25 2011 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

TVNZ

Set in 1980s Tokyo, the novel concerns Aomame, a young woman on a secret mission and her male counterpart Tengo, a maths teacher turned writer, who becomes embroiled in a conspiracy surrounding a fantastical novel apparently written by a 17 year old girl.

Jan 10 2012 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

The Coffin Factory

Murakami must be aware of this, however, as he embeds several retorts to criticism within 1Q84, such as when he has Tengo think, “If an author succeeded in writing a story put together in an exceptionally interesting way that carries the reader along to the very end, who could possibly call such ...

Nov 29 2011 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

Vivid Scribe

There’s good reason to be excited at the prospect of a new Haruki Murakami novel, and not just because the book, a single volume of three novels is a whopping 900+ pages.

Jan 20 2012 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

CBC News

Just leave us a comment on our Facebook page or send us an email with the subject line 1Q84 & your mailing address and we'll enter your name in the random draw.

Nov 04 2011 | Read Full Review of 1Q84: Books 1 And 2

Reader Rating for 1Q84
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