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  • 1Q84
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am 18. Mai 2014
Haruki Murakami (born 1949) grew up in a Japan that was culturally and politically defined by defeat and emptiness while students viewed the liberalized democratic government as a capitalist puppet of the United States. At the same time right-wing emperor-worship and nationalism were still alive. His works have probably been more influenced by western culture than those of his Japanese fellow writers. He read Beat authors like Jack Kerouac and became a jazz enthusiast, he also translated works of Raymond Chandler, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Truman Capote into Japanese. He certainly is an experimentalist, yet he always cultivated an agenda surprisingly close to the mainstream. That situation has influenced most of his bizarre creations and 1Q84 developed into a postmodernist and multifaceted combination of fantasy worlds, dystopias, alternate realities and even genre clichés.

The narrative famously begins with an attractive female protagonist, Aomame, on the way to a rendez-vous with a man, but her taxi is hopelessly trapped in a traffic jam. Nervous about being late she leaves the cab, walks down the freeway, takes off her high-heels, hitches up her miniskirt, steps over a guardrail and uses an emergency roadside stairway to reach a subway station where she becomes aware that she has left the Tokyo of 1984 and any experienced reader of Murakami's novels knows that from here on, she has cooked her goose. Soon enough she recognizes that she is about to enter a different world. She calls the new world 1Q84, "a world that bears a question." (Apparently "Q" is a homophone of the Japanese word for "nine.") Aomame is in a hurry because she is hired to kill the man she is about to meet, her preferred weapon being a kind of homemade stiletto. After watching her committing a series of murders - turns out she works for a clandestine organization that hunts down particularly abusive men - the reader doesn't feel unsettled at all, au contraire, for no specific reason he is becoming rather too comfortabel with her.

Then there is Tengo, a university entrance-exam math instructor and writer who has difficulties relating to children because he is usually lost in the magic land of literature. The fact that both are ways of escape is not lost on Tengo, but he finds that returning to reality from the world of a novel is not as demoralizing as returning from the world of math. He is a typical Murakami protagonist, with his relatively passive attitude he is often ignored and reminds the reader of a Kafkaesque environment. Tengo who agrees to a shady ghostwriting deal to rewrite the work of Fuka-Eri, a teenage girl who is quite affectless and has a way of speaking that suggests that she may be autistic. She has produced an interesting but unpolished account of life within a closed commune of political idealists and the Little People who repesent a secret religious cult.

Tengo straightens Fuka-Eri's cryptical writing, and it wins prizes and becomes a sensation. Murakami is noticeably patient in revealing the secret connections between Tengo's and Aomame's live and it becomes ever so slowly apparent that Fuka-Eri's story is based in 1Q84, however the author remains stubbornly foggy, as many of the novel's most irritating questions are left unanswered. Again Murakami shows elaborately that in his novels events might be unnatural, but the characters are as human as possible.

Murakami used the vehicle of alternate worlds in previous books such as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Sputnik Sweetheart. Except that in 1Q84 there is no guarantee of plotting a course because the universe of this novel consists of ever stranger worlds, like the town of cats that is extraordinarily creepy. Of course, as the title implies, there is the George Orwell angle. But Murakami turns it on its head, even creates a double paradox: the single Big Brother vs. the plural Little People, the dominating and opressing presence of Big Brother vs. the Little People who are visible only to very few, although their murky aspirations also seem to be a form of mind control. There are other cultural references running from Shakespeare to Dostoevsky and Lewis Carroll, there are even citations from Sonny and Cher and Harold Arlen. Although the most important works implied are musical as one has to remember that Murakami ran a jazz bar before becoming a writer.

Murakami can be over-explanatory and enigmatic at the same time and in large parts he is psychologically unconvincing and morally unreliable. One would also expect that the author of a book of this magnitude would somehow tie up loose ends, but Murakami is clearly more interested in this battle between "realism" and "unrealism". If the reader can cover the rather tremendous distance from the beginning to page 1300 (this brick of a book was originally published in 3 volumes), he will discover that 1Q84 is a thrilling read that offers wisdom, humor, sex, weirdness and an entire universe.
0Kommentar|5 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 29. November 2013
I read "Kafka on the Shore" and "South of the border, west of the sun" before and liked them very much. But this book has exactly what both of these stories had needed.

Kafka was wonderful surreal and had this vivid game with illusion and reality but it lacked in believable feelings and relationships where South of the border was fulfilled with this profound and opaque love but didn't had this Murakami-Crescendo.

But this one now, is his awaited masterpiece! Very faintly in the beginning Murakami built a reality a surreal and sensitive castle fulfilled with love and loneliness.
The Chatterers are lunatic Puppets played by Pandoras worst curse. Driven by the hope who will you make carry on deep into every nightmare just with an unspoken promise.

If you like Murakami you will love this one! Normally I don't like it to give 5 stars but this one is it worth.
I just falling in love.
0Kommentar|3 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 11. Dezember 2011
I rarely feel the urge to review books, or anything else that i purchase for that matter. However, considering that 1Q84 has been out for nearly a month now and it still has no reader reviews on Amazon, I am practically forced to make a contribution.

First off, if you are already a Murakami fan then you can go ahead and order immediately. This work represents the pinnacle of the style he has developed in his previous work and there is nothing that will disappoint established fans. In my opinion, Murakami's blend of fantasy and realism becomes something truly meaningful in 1Q84 as opposed to remaining a purely aesthetic element as in some of his other novels.

For those readers who are new to Murakami, 1Q84 is a suitable introduction. Although Norwegian Wood or South of the Border, West of the Sun might be even more appropriate, this is just a matter of taste. Although this novel is somewhat heavier on the elements of fantasy than his previous work, the narrative is well refined and should not seem at all overwhelming to the novice reader.

I will refrain from going any deeper into details about the book, however there are two things i do wish to mention. First, the way Murakami employs time in this book demonstrates his skill as a writer. Even though his narrative follows an outwardly simple linear chronology, he succeeds at intertwining seemingly disparate threads of the story in a very powerful way. Second, the character development in 1Q84 is superb. Particularly Murakami's description and portrayal of this one horrendously ugly private investigator is almost surreal in its clarity.

In any case, I believe this novel is well worth the money (and the wait) and should certainly grab the attention of fans and novices alike.
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am 29. April 2016
Die vielen guten Rezensionen kann ich leider nicht nachvollziehen. Das Buch fängt eigentlich recht vielversprechend an und die Art und Weise wie man langsam an die Idee der parallelwelten herangeführt wird fand ich auch recht gut. Aber ab der mitte des ersten Buches gehen die erzaehlstraenge in alle möglichen Richtungen und verlieren sich. Da werden dann auch die bereits vorhandenen schwächen des ersten Teils deutlich: die überzeichneten Figuren und (zumindest in der englische Übersetzung) uninspirierter Stil.
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am 15. Februar 2016
...I now look up in the sky, I am not sure whether there is only one moon. Sometimes, I see at least a small indication of a second moon - thanks to Mr. Murakami.

I really enjoyed reading 1Q84 from page 1 to 1328. It is not only the story of the true and pure love of Aomame and Tengo, but also an exciting crime story. What surprises me is the fact that Murakami is able to grip a reader right from the start and hold him tight for more than 1000 pages, especially because the narrative structure is very simple. In the books 1 and 2 the chapters of Aomame and Tengo alternate. Book 3 adds another character (Ushikawa).

If you want an abstract of the story please read the comment of "express" of May 18, 2014. I think it is not necessary to sum up the story again and again. I would like to tell you that this book is worth reading because it handles the big human topics (love, religion, believe, solitude and hope) with great care and finds metaphores you will never forget (i.e. two moons).
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am 10. Februar 2014
Der Erzählstil von Murukami ist herausragend. Erinnerte mich teilweise an Irving mit seinem Detailreichtum. Er beschreibt in liebevoller Einzelheit ein Japan der 80er, was die ganze Geschichte trägt und zum Weiterlesen ermutigt. Leider passiert in der Geschichte zu wenig, als dass man 1300 Seiten damit füllen sollte. Man kann offensichtlich, aber 200 Seiten hätten es auch getan. Wer einen klasse Schreibstil sucht, wird hier fündig. Wer ein kurzweiliges und spannendes Buch sucht, nicht.
0Kommentar|3 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 8. August 2014
Ein Muss für alle Murakami-Fans. Über 1000 Seiten lesen sich wie hundert, super spannend und interessant. Für Nicht-Muttersprachler auf Englisch bestens geeignet.
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am 13. August 2013
Perfect quality and fast arrival. The books are really good and enjoyable! Haruki Murakami never fails to deliver dreamy stories.
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am 16. Juli 2015
Rarely have I read a book that pulled me right into the story as 1Q84 did. Just prior to this book I have finished "Sputnik Sweetheart" by Murakami, though it lacked a certain component that was covered, in my opinion, perfectly in this masterpiece - simply put, the whole plot around Aomame and Tengo, at first two seperate threads which throughout the plot converge to each other to finally connect.
All in all, 1Q84 is indeed, as stated on the cover, 'a work of maddening brilliance'.
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am 30. Januar 2014
Ich will hier nicht spoilern, deshalb nur soviel:
eine der besten Geschichten, die ich jemals gelesen habe, in der englischen Ausgabe sehr, sehr günstig - mein Englisch ist weit von perfekt, aber es ist leicht verständlich, fast einfach geschrieben, ob es am Stil oder an der Übersetzung aus dem Japanischen liegt? Keine Ahnung, aber jeder mit "guten" Englischkenntnissen kann es locker meistern.

Wer Fjodor Dostojewski mag wird auch hier glücklich werden, wobei man das Surreale schon aushalten muss!
Schade, dass es nur kanppe 1400 Seiten hat, und das meine ich ernst. Dieses Buch kann süchtig machen, danke Murakami Haruki!
0Kommentar|2 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden

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