My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This was my first Murakami novel and geesh was I tired of listening to this blabberdy blabbing when I was finished. About an hour into the audio book, I doubled the speed of narration and sometimes tripled it during Tengo’s story. That tempo kept me interested and helped me get through the book in less than 30 hours. Thirty hours is long enough and may have you doing as one of the texts by Proust the author pays homage to, searching for lost time.
Excerpt from the story “Town of Cats” from 1Q84 printed in the New Yorker September 5, 2011: “In the story, a young man is travelling alone with no particular destination in mind. He rides the train and gets off at any stop that arouses his interest. He takes a room, sees the sights, and stays for as long as he likes. When he has had enough, he boards another train. He spends every vacation this way.” That Murakami included this tale makes me think that he did this very thing. He had a few characters he wanted to write about and he took us on a ride with them with no particular destination in mind. Stopping everywhere that pleased him and elaborating on whatever he felt like. What an ego trip.
Themes through the story: Sex without love, Unrequited love, Ugliness ( big heads, small noses, strange ears etc.), Going to the Cat Town, Little people and dead bodies, Religion as an evil incestuous force, Crows, Socialism and media, Immaculate conception, Parallel universes, Moon is blue cheese, and the list goes on. If you are a psychology student, you could probably write your thesis about this book.
What does it all mean and what can you expect to get out of investing your time in this story. I have no idea. I did make a playlist on Spotify from the music mentioned in the book and that will give you at least 24 hours of music. That’s something at least.
My favorite Quotes from 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami
“Life is not like water. Things in life don’t necessarily flow over the shortest possible route.”
“Even if we could turn back, we’d probably never end up where we started.”
“I’m a very ordinary human being; I just happen to like reading books.”
“As I see it, you are living with something that you keep hidden deep inside. Something heavy. I felt it from the first time I met you. You have a strong gaze, as if you have made up your mind about something. To tell you the truth, I myself carry such things around inside. Heavy things. That is how I can see it in you.”
“Life is so uncertain: you never know what could happen. One way to deal with that is to keep your pajamas washed.”
“Writers have to keep on writing if they want to mature, like caterpillars endlessly chewing on leaves.”
The Atlantics summary of why this should have been an excellent book.
NY Times review