Murakami’s 1Q84 is quite a marathon at 3 volumes and over 1200 pages. It’s simply and eloquently written, full of precise detail, and morally compelling, despite the explicit sex scenes, which are especially prevalent in the opening sections. It’s a book that in the end promotes the value of love, and is a condemnation of religious cults.
Murakami is a prolific author, and I doubt if I’ll ever read another of his books – but I’m not sure. He describes the tedium of everyday life without being for a single minute boring or monotonous. Clever allusions and intimations of the way the plot will develop are casually dropped, and suggestions of the metaphysical proliferate. At the same time this is a thriller that will grip you from the first page, and a romance that will touch your heart. The characters are subtly delineated in spare descriptions that reveal warmth and humanity. Even Murakami’s villains garner, if not sympathy, then compassion.
1Q84 is a novel that I will not easily forget. The story of Tengo and Aomame, of the world with two moons, of Ushikawa and his lonely death, is beautiful and haunting. At the same time 1Q84 is one of the silliest and weirdest of all the books I have ever read.
Have you read anything by Murakami? What do you think – madman or genius? The reviews linked here give very different opinions.