Wandering , I was lost in the big almost-bad , never-ending world of books, YA novels and some dumb series , fluttering from book to book, wondering where in my book-journey I lost a purpose and where I had forgotten all about my favourite style of writing and the worlds I'd live to get lost in and worrying about what my next book would be like and telling myself that quantity is never better than quality but still piling on the number of books I read per month and questioning my own attention span ... And that is when Murakami happened. Almost every time he happened, he managed to fill my head with unimaginable worlds and beautiful paired sentences and aptly used words... Thus showing me what the joy of reading is all about!
Like how they say that when you are in love, every step you take in your life is so that it might take you closer to your love (am refraining to use a reference from the book here, something which Aomame does towards the end of the book), every book I read this year so far was to get me closer to this book – Murakami’s 1Q84.
It was to read this long a book with complete dedication that I spent weekends and weekdays maniacally reading all other books in my To-Read list. The sheer size of this book was deterring me, and I was questioning myself if I would persist enough to finish this book at all and if my restlessness take a upper hand from the love I have for Murakami. Well, turns out my love for Murakami , his words and the worlds he creates for me is greater than anything else!
At the core of 1Q84 is a beautiful hopeful love story, something very deep and soul-touching, taking course over an year, 1984. Well, Murakami has his way with words for sure, can do a great job with love stories and his translator does a good job too, but what is better than the love story in this book is the way it shapes up. The characters that are introduced in the midst of all the action in Aomame’s and Tengo’s lives, the worlds they exist in, the individual characteristics of each of these characters , their purpose in the book, and the sheer world he created in this story… each of these are brilliant. Murakami sure did give a lot of thought on how he would develop each character, where he would end them, how they would play according to his wishes in 1Q84 and what impressions they will leave in our minds.
I will rate this book as one of the best books of this century. I’ll even go ahead and say, this can be a Must-Read for any fan of the Magic Realism genre.
No, don’t attribute this to my undying love for Murakami . Read this book for yourself, get lost in the world he created, try to find your way back to reality like how Aomame does and then sit back in wonder and recount all the happenings of this book, and the time you lost in reading it, which gives its 900 odd pages is nothing. Yes, time just flies when you are reading this book. You’ll feel like you’ve lived through an entire year yourselves, lived both Aomame and Tengo’s lives, been to the world of The Little People by yourself, and even wish for your own Air Chrysalis.
There is an obvious Orwell reference, and something to do with pasts and remembering it as well, but this book is not dystopian. Its magic realism with tonnes of learning embedded in it. If not anything else, you’ll come back richer with knowledge reading up on all the references he gives for a varied set of music, movies and books. And yes, you’ll listen to Janáček's Sinfonietta a zillion times to understand the different undertones to it! And not to forget the haunting feeling you’ll get every time you make a decision in your life, leaving behind another world… its like being opened to a whole new world of What-ifs, like this quote below -
Quote link – GoodReads
More than any of these, Murakami gave me something else. One more thing to share with my husband, we are as different as chalk and cheese , the both of us, our music, movies , books and even pace of living. How we manage to live together , that too, dare I say, happily is a question for another day, but Murakami is one author we both love. Equally. 1Q84 is the only other book we both read at around the same time, and fell in love with it, equally.
As I was reading this book, my moods varied from being exhilarated, excited, curious, shocked, amused, look up to the sky(you’ll know why!) , scared and worried that I might get stuck in a Town of Cats as well and wish that I was in Tokyo among all the lights, Sakigake and in the Ichikawa school myself. I gasped every time either Aomame or Tengo looked up into the sky and moved pages in a hurry at the end of every book in this mega-book. I just couldn’t wait to finish this book. I loved the method of story telling, the pace in the plot and the introduction of characters. Oh what the heck, I loved the book in its entirety.
Word of caution though, if you have never read Murakami, or do not like his style of writing, you MUST not read this book. It will only turn you against him, something my poor heart cannot bear! ;-)
As a sidenote, my GoodReads reading progress…