This book took me a good half of a year to finish, but I guess that’s to be expected… It is a heavy 924 pages, so I always left it on my bedside table in Bremen for nighttime reading. Given that I’m only in Bremen 3-4 nights a week these days, and that I fall asleep within half an hour of opening the book, it’s no wonder it took me so freaking long!
Anyway, I have to admit that I liked 1Q84, but I didn’t love it. There’s no way to accurately describe 1Q84 without giving away most of the plot, except to say that it’s basically a love story taking place in an alternate universe. It was weird, like all Murakami’s works are, but didn’t draw me in as much as some of his other books and short stories. I’m thinking particularly of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, which I found strange, but convincingly so. After all the build up from 900 pages, I was hoping for more of a bang of an ending, which never appeared.
But, I don’t want this to discourage you from reading 1Q84! I’m basically comparing it to Murakami’s other brilliant writings, which is a high standard of measurement in my opinion. All I’m saying is that if you’ve never read anything by Murakami before, I might recommend starting with some of his short stories (like Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman) or my favorite novel of his, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, to get you warmed up before tackling this giant. If you’re already a big fan, then I certainly recommend the book to get a sense of where his writing is going these days.
So, has anyone else read 1Q84 (or anything else by Murakami)? What are your impressions? Would you recommend it?