Thursday, December 13, 2012

5 Books Update: 1Q84

So, I have cheated a little bit and swopped South of the Border, West of the Sun with 1Q84.  I just plain ran out of time to order it and decided that, seeing as 1Q84 was going to be on next year's 5 Books and is also by Haruki Murakami, that it was a fair trade!

Moving along, 1Q84 is the story of Aomame, Tengo, a cult, some little people and a world with two moons.  Without giving too much away, Aomame is a very specialised assassin who finds herself in a parallel universe after climbing down a freeway overpass.  Tengo is an aspiring novelist and math's teacher who finds himself ghost writing a story called Air Chrysalis for the very mysterious Fuka-Eri.  Their fates are all intertwined with Murakami's special brand of fantasy to make for a very strange story that touches on the difference between fantasy and reality and the passage of time.  The story, which is actually 3 separate books, alternates between Aomame and Tengo's point of view until the third book where there is an additional voice added and things start to come together.

The reviews that I read for 1Q84 weren't entirely positive.  I read a lot of criticism about the plot, the characters and the progression of the story.  While I did find it a bit slow in parts, I can't say that I agree with the critics.  The story is so unusual that you need to keep reading if only to find out how it ends.  Overall I enjoyed it and I would recommend it anyone who is a Murakami fan.  Here are a few of my favourite quotes to whet your appetite:

"Being alive, if you had to define it, means emitting a variety of smells."

"I'm not afraid to die, Aomame reassured herself.  What I am afraid of is having reality get the better of me, of having reality leave me behind."

"Life is not like water.  Things don't necessarily flow over the shortest possible route."

Have you read 1Q84?  What did you think?

Well, that concludes my 5 must read books for 2012!  If you are interested, you can read the original 5 Books post here and all the 5 Books updates here.  I'll have another list ready in January for 2013:)

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