Aside from trying to establish a convention for reviews on this blog where in native languages the surname comes first, the book by Murakami Haruki (the convention I think works best is the one in which I use the native way and no contraction for the forename), ‘1Q84’, poses a number of interesting questions in a readers mind. But these questions were something that remained there and took the form of ‘What is real?’ rather than being actually points that one could answer with certainty. Maybe in a way, the book made me question reality.
A thought though: I have not done this in the past where I have used Ryōtarō Shiba instead of Shiba Ryōtarō as I remember. Maybe I’ll just keep it normal then, but not contract the forename… There we go then, Mr Haruki Murakami. Simplicity wins. Logic wins.
However, that above is just a distraction to what I was trying to get at, so here we go:
‘1Q84’ is an intriguing work that I found all the more compelling due to its occasional randomness. Some of the things portrayed were… otherworldly. The two moons! I did enjoy that thought — although maybe that was because I have written a story that has two moons in it: two moons in an otherworldly scene of life, much like ‘1Q84’ in general.
Now, before I continue any further, I’ll add: I haven’t read Book 3 yet. It could be that Book 3 is decidedly different from Books 1 and 2, but I think that fear is unfounded in reality. I will comment on Book 3 whenever I finish that.
So, the ‘compulsory’ quote to be in line with previous reviews on books I have read on the Kindle:
This may be the most important proposition revealed by history: “At the time, no one knew what was coming.”
— Murakami, Haruki (2011-10-18). 1Q84: Books 1 and 2 (Kindle Location 140). Random House UK. Kindle Edition.
I cannot fault the system for showing everyone which location it actually is from so I’ve not edited this one. For the sake of accuracy, I’ll try to do this for every Kindle quote in the future, but do bear with me if I do not manage. =) Previously I used to just rewrite it from the hand-held Kindle, but now I’m using the Windows one to copy it directly since that seems to work better.
Back to the book: I think that what I most appreciated about it is the ephemeral quality of nearly everything in the book. The Little People, the air chrysalis (and what a wonderful name that is!), the feelings and thoughts, and the suddenness as well. The phrases which went along the lines of ‘These things were now forever beyond this world’ are very much to my liking (if I only tried to explain why).
So, overall, I enjoyed the style I saw in this book and I liked what it tried to tell me — rather, what I think it tried to tell me I guess. Carpe diem! But maybe also a certain appreciation for things that are not entirely clear. A love of mystery, maybe…
“If you can’t understand it without an explanation, you can’t understand it with an explanation.”
— Murakami, Haruki (2011-10-18). 1Q84: Books 1 and 2 (p. 436). Random House UK. Kindle Edition.