Guest Review by Jo: 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

1q84-cover

Hello readers,

It’s everyone’s favorite little sister (Or just Aka’s favorite little sister) Guest reviewing an interesting piece of work just for you!

“Don’t let appearances fool you, there is always only one reality.” These are the words that introduce readers to the world of 1Q84. The story takes you by the hand and guides you through 1984 Tokyo. It may start as a casual stroll but the story soon takes off running, dragging you behind it. You might ask it “Where are we going?” But it doesn’t answer.

Purple prosy shit aside I really have no idea how to say in simple plot terms what the book is about. Everything about the plot is really big and complicated. Things that seem important for a short time can appear and disappear without seeming like they helped advance the story at all. You’ll end up with questions, but not as many answers as you’d like and nothing wraps up neatly at the end. However, having the answers feels somehow not as important.

Thematically however the book appears to be about being able to determine the difference between contentment and fully living. Aomame is content with her simple life as a personal trainer, sometimes doing special work for a woman we know as “The Dowager”. She fights off loneliness with one night stands and has very few personal friends. Likewise Tengo is content to be a part time teacher at a cram school and write fiction on the side. He’s hasn’t been published yet but he seems to be complacent writing and judging amateur writing for a magazine at the behest of his editor. He keeps his Friday afternoons open for his older married girlfriend but he knows that’s all the farther the relationship will ever go.

Tengo and Aomame both are forcefully thrust into a world that challenges their content lifestyles and makes them realize just how alone they really are. As the surreal events unfold around them they try desperately to find each other while the ever-present “Little People” manipulate the events around them.

As far as the writing goes the dialogue is very Japanese. The English translation gets rough in some places and it really shows through during conversations.

Another thing that is very Japanese: The sex. This book is not for everyone and it really isn’t for children. If you the reader are uncomfortable with the idea of fictional sex or rape with minors, this probably isn’t the story for you. Some of the sex is a bit IKEA-like but it’s always thankfully rather short and moves on to either the pillow talk or personal introspection afterwards, you know, the good parts of fiction.

On a scale of 1 to “fucking read it” I’d give it a “Not for everyone”

I’ve just been informed I have to use real numbers, so on a scale of 1 to 5 I give it a 3. It’s well written, but it’s not a story everyone is going to enjoy.

Thanks for reading everyone!

Little sis: out!

Probably not for everyone

Probably not for everyone


Once again, Thank you, Jo for giving a guest review, you’re welcome back any time!

~Aka

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