Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Coffee Talk & Review of 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Good Afternoon Everyone! I'm a bit late with this post but you can still grab a cup of coffee or tea and have an afternoon cuppa and chat with me. As I posted last Sunday, I am still trudging around in my fashionable stormtrooper boot due to an ankle issue. It was fun this week as my son was home sick with pneumonia, poor guy was miserable. Now, he has to catch up with school work and fortunately his teachers could email me some of the work he was able to complete at home.  It's rough to miss a week of school when you're in middle school (7th grade) and my son's school is fast paced with lots of homework and research projects to keep up with. My husband and I were playing tag team as I had a conference to attend that I had signed up for months ago, no refunds either. It worked out and it was interesting getting around at a conference with the boot. I had an end chair and it was mainly lecture and a friend was there so she was a great help. 

On the book front, I finished reading 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami which was quite a challenge at 925 pages and a bit out of my comfort zone of reading. I ended up mainly reading the book on Kindle borrowed from the library (which is a fabulous feature). It took me awhile to finish the book as I was reading other books and my library loans would run out and I would have to juggle another loan. It's a large book and for me it was easier to read on the kindle and take along with me to various appointments.  I was intrigued by this book and I was unfamiliar with this author until I read  Ti from Book Chatter's  excitement about the book and author, so thanks Ti!

This was my first step into the bold world and writing of Haruki Murakami. After about 6 weeks my journey through the world of 1Q84 has come to an end and I miss the characters already. This is a hard book to review but I must tell you that I liked it a lot. I was reading it while in the waiting room of a new doctor and she walked in and saw me reading on my kindle. She asked if I was reading anything good and I told her with excitement, "Yes, I am reading a new author, the book is over 900 pages and is about two main characters and a parallel world and it's translated from Japanese". She sensed my excitement but I think I scared her with a few of my comments. Even my husband got involved in the excitement of my reading this novel as I was a bit daunted with the length of the novel. He challenged me a bit with an offer of dinner out after I finished it! Of course, I took on that challenge but didn't need it as I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Now, I can take him up on his offer and pick a nice place to go for a dinner date!

The setting of the book is a strange parallel universe in 1984 Japan. Unusual things are occurring and as the book unravels, you along with the characters realize that something odd is going on. It's subtle at first and then I found myself wanting to keep turning the pages as I got connected to the characters and the world they were in. This is the kind of book that is challenging to the mind, the story is not laid out on a platter but you must continue to peel away the layers of the onion and be a bit of a detective to connect the dots. At times, you may be able to figure out where the story is going but then you learn about the little people, the religious cult, the two moons, a mystery of death and wonder how all of this connects. The story reminded me a bit of the show Lost (which I loved) as you try to figure out where the plot is going and the challenge of questioning reality as you know it.  Murakami is an amazingly gifted storyteller that creates an atmosphere that is so realistic that you feel as if you know the characters and are part of their magical world. I had an empty feeling after I finished the book, an emptiness as the characters and the world of 1Q84 ended. I had immersed myself into this world for so many weeks that I didn't want it to end. I felt a bit lost after reading this and needed some time before I started another book.  I found that reading it slowly helped me to appreciate the novel and characters as well as the style of writing. I did not find the size as daunting overall so don't let that sway you from reading this book. I highly recommend this book, especially for those who like this style of novel and for those who want to explore new genres and authors. As a first time reader of Murakami, I found it a good book to start with. I do plan to read more of his novels. 

There is even a soundtrack that Knopf and Doubleday put together on Spotify to accompany the reading of 1Q84. For more information, go HERE.


  1. I'm not sure 1Q84 is for me but your enthusiasm makes me wonder.

  2. This was my second Murakami novel completed. I also read it on Kindle and found it went fast that way. I have Norwegian Wood on Kindle and a paper copy of The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. I hope to get done reading them by this year for the Murakami Reading Challenge!

  3. For such a long book I'm glad you are happy you read it, Bonnie - especially since it's out of your reading comfort zone.
    I hope your son feels better and catches up on his school work soon.

  4. Well, if you loved it then I'm just going to have to give it a shot at some point!!! Sounds pretty intriguing and you never know, I could wind up loving it too!

    Pneumonia has been rampant in my school..this mild winter is to blame I'm sure! Hope he's better and gets back up to speed with the school work!

  5. I can't tell you how happy I am that you first off, tried a book that was outside of your comfort zone, and second... that you loved it. Warms my heart. Murakami is a special treat for me. I have grown to love his writing and although I thought the first book I read (Kafka) was way out there, I ended up loving it in the end. I have really enjoyed everything I've read so far of his and I have read quite a few now.

  6. I hope your son is feeling better! We've had a lot of cases of pneumonia in our school, but thankfully my son avoided that. I have read mixed reviews of 1Q84, and want to read it, but am not quite ready yet to devote the time it's going to take.


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