Customer Reviews for

1Q84

Average Rating 4
( 330 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(158)

4 Star

(88)

3 Star

(32)

2 Star

(18)

1 Star

(34)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

21 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

Amazing novel, but not for first timers.

I've read almost all of Murakami's fiction (short stories & novels), and after all the waiting around I can say without a doubt that this novel exceeded my expectations. It looks huge, but it's hard to put down.

If you've never read Murakami before though, I would sa...
I've read almost all of Murakami's fiction (short stories & novels), and after all the waiting around I can say without a doubt that this novel exceeded my expectations. It looks huge, but it's hard to put down.

If you've never read Murakami before though, I would say to start with one of his shorter novels. It's definitely more for those who are familiar with his style already.

posted by 4164707 on November 28, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

15 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

Not a fan

Murakami appears to have a rather large fan base but I was less than thrilled with 1Q84. This tome could have been edited down to 500 pages without losing any of the story line, which was rather interesting. I couldn't wait to finish, only because I couldn't wait to fin...
Murakami appears to have a rather large fan base but I was less than thrilled with 1Q84. This tome could have been edited down to 500 pages without losing any of the story line, which was rather interesting. I couldn't wait to finish, only because I couldn't wait to finish.

posted by Barbersville on December 6, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2011

    Amazing novel, but not for first timers.

    I've read almost all of Murakami's fiction (short stories & novels), and after all the waiting around I can say without a doubt that this novel exceeded my expectations. It looks huge, but it's hard to put down.

    If you've never read Murakami before though, I would say to start with one of his shorter novels. It's definitely more for those who are familiar with his style already.

    21 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    Murakami is a genius

    I previously had only read short stories by Haruki Murakami, so reading him in this longer form was amazing. Some authors can't seem to go between short and long forms so I had some trepidation. But this is beautifully surreal while still keeping his wonderful economy of language. (Which may also be a tribute toward the translators.) I loved every page and can heartily recommend it.

    21 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2011

    Murakami's epic exploration of what reality is

    I read probably 800 of the 1,000+ pages of this book in the last few days. My brain hurts.

    Let's say 3 1/2 stars. The first two books are powerful; you can't stop reading them. The third book is a bit more of a slog (although I think I found it far less so than my esteemed colleagues in our book club). It suffers from, among other things, having been released as a trilogy originally in Japan but as one giant book in North America; book 3 is thus an awful lot of repetition and an awful lot of slogging through, sometimes, even the same words as the first two books.

    Mechanics aside, it's a fascinating story. The protagonists are drawn into a slightly alternate reality--at least, they think they are--and the book becomes an exploration of what's real and what isn't, even how time works (and doesn't).

    It isn't perfect. It's really long, and often feels like it didn't need to be. It gets repetitive. Often times, all but one of the viewpoint characters end up in less than interesting situations, and you push through those chapters longing for the story to continue again.

    But in the end, it all felt worth it, because the story was worth it. Even if my head hurts.

    20 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2011

    Not a fan

    Murakami appears to have a rather large fan base but I was less than thrilled with 1Q84. This tome could have been edited down to 500 pages without losing any of the story line, which was rather interesting. I couldn't wait to finish, only because I couldn't wait to finish.

    15 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    Interesting, but hardly "intricately plotted"

    Before reading this I scanned some reviews that described the work as an intricately plotted masterpiece. I should confess that I am brand new to Murakami Haruki.

    I enjoyed the book. However, it does not need to be 1,040 pages long--its length is not due to any sort of an intricate plot. The plot is no more complex than that of a typical Robert B. Parker novel, in my opinion. The length is due to copious description of everything from putting a record on a turntable to the clothing/appearance of various characters. Interestingly, in the book the editor makes a point to Tengo that in writing, what is important is to clearly and carefully describe what the reader has never experienced, and to spend less time describing what the reader knows well. I think this is interestingly because Murakami himself flagrantly violates this "rule" (of course, it is not his own rule, clearly, but that of one of his fictional characters).

    Anyway, I did enjoy the book. I lived in Japan for a while, so particularly enjoyed Japanese aspects and familiar (to me) settings used in the book. I appreciated his specificity of location. It is rare for me to read a book that is set in a place I know well, so that was fun for me.

    If you want a good mystery, read The Beekeeper's Apprentice instead!

    I don't think I will seek out further reading material by this author, however ...

    14 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is an omnibus translation of a powerful epic trilogy

    Thirty year old Aomame caught the cab in Kuta heading inbound towards Tokyo. However, an accident shuts down the expressway. The cabby suggests Aomame whose name means green peas to try something different. Bored the passenger agrees; she leaves the taxi stuck on the elevated highway traffic jam to walk down stairs into a rabbit hole.

    Thirty tears old Tengo the bored math teacher is the ghostwriter for teenage girl Fuka-Eri's bestseller Air Chrysalis. He too disappears.

    Aomame realizes she is not in her Tokyo as the cops are uniformed and supplied with different guns; she calls her new land 1Q84. Though she wonders how to go home, an animated Aomame becomes involved in criminal activity. Meanwhile Tengo obsesses on a quest to find his childhood friend Aomame before the rules that she apparently is shattering in this Tokyo turns into pandemic chaos while the Sakigake cult hunt for this infamous female.

    This is an omnibus translation of a powerful epic trilogy as Haruki Murakami explores the degrees of connection and separation between people within an Alice-Orwellian Tokyo. The story line is fascinating as the plot purposely meanders as it mirrors relationships. Still readers will enjoy Tengo's quest to save Aomame from her becoming the trend setter on her 1Q84 world.

    Harriet Klausner

    13 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Meh

    I kept waiting to be surprised; something to tie the ends together. In the final pages, I had downgraded my hopes: some clever twist to banish the thought that I¿d wasted so much time reading this tome with the plot of a shampoo bottle. Nope. I could summarize the story in a few paragraphs sufficiently and not give the ending away; because nothing happens. The book just ends and you get your life back.

    11 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    If you enjoy repetition, this is the book for you!

    I'm about 2/3 of the way through this book, and I feel like I've been reading it all my life. Is it worth it? I don't know yet. 1/6/2012 update: No, it wasn't worth it. I realize that I am in the minority here, but in my humble opinion, this book is highly overrated. I felt like I was reading the same passages, over and over and over. I got so sick of reading redundant descriptions of the two moons that I wanted to just toss the book. Unfortunately, my 'book' is a Nook, so I wasn't about to toss it. But getting back to the book, if I had to come up with one word to describe it, it would be 'repetitive'. The plot, as it was, just dragged on and on and on. With respect to characters, the only one I could sympathize with at all was Tengo, but not enough to really care whether he and Aomame got reunited. I'm not sure why I continued reading this book, except that I kept hoping it would surely have some fantastic ending that made it all worth it. Not!
    I should say that this is my first Murakami book, and other readers warned against that. But I soldiered on. If it were not for other reviews I've read, this would be my first and last Murakami. But there are other reviewers who are Murakami fans who were disappointed in this particular book and recommended others. So Because of some of those reviews, I may try him again. I'm just not up to it right now.
    This book might make a good book club selection, because readers seem to have extreme views of it one way or another, but my guess is that some readers would not finish it. I'm not sure why I did.

    9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    great!

    ill be honest and say i ofcourse am not complete with this novel yet but so far it is very similar to his other works yet some say it is the great culmination of all of his ideas. it is interesting that he incorporates classical music alot in his novels, as well as michael jacksons songs "billy jean". its almost as if all of his books are within the same universe but each new one is a different episode. makes for a unique and compellingly entertaining experience.

    9 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Unbelievable imagination!

    This author is something else to have come up with such an extreme and complicated world. This has it all, love, romance, excitement, suspense, wonderment....This will not disappoint with many surprises and questions to find the answers to. Wow!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2012

    Worst book I've ever read

    I purchased the book because of the exerpt in the New Yorker and the high reviews. My high expectations dwindled quickly. I wondered if something had been lost in translation or if the awkward, unpolished style was supposed to mirror the young novelist's story in the novel.
    Some of my complaints:
    Shouldn't a writer show instead of tell?
    Do we really need to read about the person dressed in green, pouring green tea, from a green pot, in a green room, looking at the green plants.....throughout the book.....to understand that the color is supposed to be ( heavy handed) obvious symbolism?
    How can the book write about editing and not apply it to itself! 1000+ pages really!
    Was the contradictory description of the charcters intentional?

    The only reason I finished it was to see if there was something I was missing.....nope, just some if my life wasted. Wish I could get my money back on this one.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 24, 2011

    Very interesting and entertaining book

    I've read only the first 150 pages, but already feel this is one of the best works of fiction I've read. The book starts off fast to take your interest, multiple story lines are developed in parallel and they are presented in a way that holds your interest. I think that most people reading this book will categorize it as a "page turner". I am looking forward to seeing how the story lines converge and resolving the mystery surrounding hints that some sort of time shift has occurred for the female character Aomame (which means "green beans").

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    Waste of time

    The book creates very vivid imagery. If there had been any attention given to the economy of words it could have been a magnificent book. But unfortunately, it only gets redundant. As it changes from one character to the next you begin to skim the pages because the author only repeats the exact same moments and conversations from the other point of view only to arrive at the very same conclusions that were previously drawn. That said, I held out till the end of the book, there was no point. Just read the review in the ny times it sums it up very nicely wihout the need of ever having to read the 1,000 pages.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2012

    900 Empty Pages

    A book of this length should reward you with more than a simple love story and strange settings. Mental chewing gum. Bloated and in need of a good editor. Spend your time reading Proust or Orwell not 1Q84.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    about 800 pages too long.

    All the conflict and most of the plot points never really went anywhere. The fantasy elements added very little to the narrative.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    The action starts on page 1000

    I'm not sure why this book has recieved great reviews? Reading it you think there will be action any moment but nothing really happens until page 1,000 out of 1,050. There are plots that randomly start and then go absolutely nowhere and are never explained. This could have easily been short story and less than 100 pages.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    What is Reality?

    1Q84 by Haruki Murakami is a fic­tional novel which takes place between two worlds. The book was orig­i­nally writ­ten in Japan­ese and became a best seller almost immediatiy..

    Aomame, a young assas­sin on her way to prac­tice her pro­fes­sion, steps out of a taxi cap and started notic­ing small but sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ences in the world around her. Aomame real­izes that she entered a par­al­lel uni­verse which she calls 1Q84.

    At the same time Tengo, an aspir­ing author, takes on a ghost­writ­ing project and becomes so wrapped up with the work and its author when he starts notic­ing that his world has become unraveled.

    1Q84 by Haruki Murakami is not a com­plex novel, but it is long. The book asks an impor­tant ques­tion ¿what is reality¿?

    I¿ve worked with many mar­ket­ing peo­ple over the years, the one impor­tant les­son they have taught me is the ¿per­cep­tion is every­thing, real­ity is noth­ing¿. At first, my struc­tured mind that sees the world in 0s and 1s couldn¿t com­pre­hend what they were say­ing. How­ever, with a lit­tle bit of con­tem­pla­tion I came to real­ize that they were right.

    After all, we live in a fake world. The news we watch are fake, the food we eat is fake (that¿s why many immi­grants have their own food stores), the promises made to us by our lead­ers and cap­tains of indus­try are hol­low and bro­ken almost with­out delay.

    Murakami points out that one¿s per­spec­tive often deter­mines what real­ity is for them, whether or not it is real­ity for oth­ers ¿ I think he¿s right. The author points out that the year 1984 no longer exists, it is not a par­al­lel uni­verse or or another world:

    "For you and for me, the only time that exists any­more is this year of 1Q84"

    The novel inter­twines two nar­ra­tives, Aomame who is a full-time trainer/ part-time assas­sin and Tengo, a math teacher and nov­el­ist. Aomame and Tengo, whose sto­ries even­tu­ally join, see the world in a par­al­lel uni­verse, each one with its own minor dif­fer­ences (police uni­forms for exam­ple) but they con­tinue to live with those who are in their own world.

    The small dis­tinc­tions make all the dif­fer­ence to Aomame and Tengo in pur­su­ing their mean­ing & their per­sonal quests.

    How­ever, the real strength of the book is the epic struc­ture in which it is writ­ten in and the ref­er­ences to lit­er­a­ture, world­wide and Japan­ese, and his­tor­i­cal events which I found amus­ing. I only wish the trans­la­tors (Jay Rubin & Philip Gabriel, who did an excel­lent job by the way) would have been kind enough to put in some foot­notes about the cul­tural aspects of the book to put it in per­spec­tive to those who are not up to date on cul­tural details as Mr. Murakami is.
    But that is my com­plaint on most trans­lated books.

    The won­der­ful thing about 1Q84 is that it is clear that Murakami is hav­ing fun with his com­ments

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2011

    Amazing story

    At no point in time did I feel like I was reading a 1,000 page novel. Characters were fleshed out, settings were believable, action was steady, etc.

    Not quite as surreal as Wind Up Bird Chronicle and not as intense a love story as Norwegian Wood, 1Q84 is nonetheless one of my all-time favorite Murakami novels. Well worth the read.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2012

    Frankly a snore

    I don't understand the popularity of this book. 1000 pages of inactivity. The characters are 2d, the dialogue forced. A big deception.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    This was the first book that I've read from Haruki Marakami &

    This was the first book that I've read from Haruki Marakami & I really enjoyed it. A lot of people complained about it being too long, however I loved how he told the story & miss it now that I'm done with it. Great characters & overall plot. I can't wait to read another book by him!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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