The epic review of 1Q84

I promised you a review of 1Q84 and I think after all my whining about it I should deliver!

1Q84 is kind of hard to explain without revealing too much but I will not spoil anything I promise. Whatever information I give here you will find in the first few chapters.

1Q84 follows the parallel stories of Aomame and Tengo. Both are unusual characters whose lives are about to get considerably more unusual.  Aomame is an unusually self reliant and introspective woman who has a knack for human anatomy. Tengo is a maths genius and aspiring writer who works at a cram school. Both live mostly solitary lives and at the start of the novel both are about to embark on jobs that will make their lives much more complicated. Because Aomame’s talent for muscles makes her the perfect hired killer of particularly brutal husbands, and Tengo’s editor wants him to rewrite an imaginative story by an enigmatic 17 year old girl.

Before long both are involved with shady characters, cults, mysteries and the supernatural ‘Little People’.

1Q84 is crazy original and super quirky, as you would expect from Murakami. But more than that it’s incredibly enjoyable. The alternating chapter format kept me constantly engaged, especially as the two characters’ stories come closer and closer together, without quite touching. It’s full of metaphor and allusion and would be much more wanky if Murakami didn’t stop to explain some of his metaphors as he goes along, playfully undercutting them.

As in other books, Murakami mixes the strange fantasy elements of his novel with grounding physical details. Aomame’s clothes and Tengo’s cooking serve this purpose, with detailed descriptions that add an element of mundane real life to the crazy occurrences of the book.

It’s a story where you’re never quite sure what isreal, what is true and who the good guys really are. It’s freaking big and totally worth it!


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