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Publisher's Summary

The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.
A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realises, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - 'Q' is for 'question mark'. A world that bears a question.
Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.
As Aomame's and Tengo's narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.
A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell's, 1Q84 is Haruki Murakami's most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.
BONUS AUDIO: Audible interviews the translators of 1Q84, Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel.
©2011 Haruki Murakami (P)2011 Audible Ltd
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Critic Reviews

"It is a work of maddening brilliance and gripping originality, deceptively casual in style...vibrating with wit, intellect and ambition." (The Times)
"Eerie, suspenseful and packed full of gorgeous ordinary details and provocative extraordinary events...funny, fresh and intensely surreal. Unmissable." (Marie Claire)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Sonia on 05-13-12

Imagine if you were a character within a book...

Imagine how it would feel if you were a character within a narrative world - and knew it. To top it off the pesky author of the novel you live in keeps changing his mind. There are subtle differences in the way your world is articulated - mirroring the editing process.

There is a sense of melancholy in that some characters, such as the Leader, are unable to be something other than how they are figured in the narrative. He is restricted by this story world. His communiaction with the little people suggests his constructedness - he is aware of his fictionality - he knows he is merely a figment of an author's imagination, and is bound to do what the little people tell him to do.

I don't think I could get through this book by reading the print version. I've read a lot of Murakami's novels before, but this one is particularly long. In addition, there is a lot of layering to this novel, where there is the slightly nuanced repetition of story lines. It was nice listening to them- they are like the receding and returning tides of the ocean (yes, a weird simile, but you'll get what I mean if you listen long enough).

I highly recommend this to people who enjoy fantasy,science fiction, magic realism, narrative studies, Eng Lit majors, people who love Japan, Murakami, etc. etc.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

By Phillip on 02-04-12

complex, surreal and very very long

I am a huge Murakami fan. I think his style is very suited to the audiobook format, especially as music features as almost another character. In addition to listening to the audiobook I also ended up downloading several songs, and searching for albums that the characters were listening to.

This is a vast novel, and if you have not encountered Murakami before, perhaps try something like the windup bird or a shorter story to begin with. For me, IQ84 is a wonderful story, that turns in on itself and was the perfect companion on a long hour long compute back and forward to the office.

It is a story about murder, history, cult religion, violence, family ties but at its heart it is about love. It is wonderful.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Nick on 01-22-12

Murakami sparkles as ever

The publicity surrounding this novel has attracted listeners and readers who have not read Murakami's work before and the negative reviews that some of them have posted here are to be expected. He is not going to be everyone's idea of mesmerizing. But to me and others with whom his writings resonate he is long overdue a Nobel prize for literature.

1Q84 is rather orderly and less fantastical that his other novels but no less gripping. It works on a number of levels - his characters are still social misfits trying to fit in or trying to figure out if they even should, the plot weaves the mundane and dream-like fantasy into a single confused strand of narrative, and violence and sex create their endless ambiguities and problems for the participants.

The sex, whilst often graphic, makes an important point about the the hero and heroine that becomes clearer as the novel progresses. Indeed, the novel displays the triumph of true love over physical loving in a world where the latter has by and large eclipsed the former.

Morality is expertly examined as the novel continues to pose the question as to how to assign right and wrong to any given action, the means or the end; and, like anyone else who has engaged with ethics, never really finds it possible to make a final judgement.

Whilst the book is hardly fast-paced, it is a surprisingly good page-turner and the narration is just fine. It's rather flat in places, failing to deliver the right inflections, but Allison, Marc and Mark are suited to the characters they depict and the shortcomings are easily forgiven.

Every time I finish Murakami novel I can't wait to listen to another. Given how weird they can be, I do wonder what that might say about me! Whenever I try to explain his books to my wife she says, "you're not selling it to me." Perhaps his novels are best consumed by restless, inquiring souls. But I would urge everyone to at least try one. If you like it, then it will open up a whole library of joy.

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44 of 46 people found this review helpful

By Helen on 04-16-12

Story sneaks up on you, so don't give up too soon

This story starts slowly, but I enjoyed the detailed writing about Japanese society. Suddenly I didn't want to stop listening, I needed to know what happened. I will certainly download more by this author. Don't give up on this as it gets better and better.

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30 of 32 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Dr. Jeannette Kavanagh on 03-20-17

Third time around even better.

I've read this book twice before listening to it. The narration was perfect and made the work more entrancing.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

By Amanda on 09-25-15

Struggled to finish. Unnecessarily Long.

Too repetitive. The story was interesting but I kept thinking 'I get it already' . His short stories are better. The male narrator was good, the female no so much. I felt that this was a kids story trying to be adult literature. a bit pretentious ..would be a fantastic anime.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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