Posted by: Ele Quigan | September 14, 2013

1Q84 Books 1 and 2 – Haruki Murakami

I was trying to explain this book to someone, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s pretty much unexplainable.

But it’s amazing.

The phrase that I got to was that it is like lace, or at least that the Author is a lacemaker, and you start with one thread, that’s gently and slowly woven into another thread, and another and another until you have this phenomenally complex piece but you still have a complete understanding of how it works and how you got there.

It’s beautifully written, and while the subject matter is occasionally shocking, or horrifying, you still plough through it, looking for understanding or a frame of reference.

I can’t say that the book made much sense to me, I was looking for analogies or metaphors – and after a few days thinking about it I *think* I *get* it.

To quote the Guardian review, something really does evoke a “slow-burning dread”, this is definitely a book where being an incredibly fast reader is a huge benefit, as I was so aware of the pace – building to the final crescendo on the last page.

Similar to the book I’d read the previous day, I found the translation fairly good, it wasn’t stilted, or have passages that didn’t make much sense (except the story right? The presence of the second moon still slightly weirds me out, but as the male protagonist writes the female protagonist into the story via the receiver – yeah, the book is a little strange).

As far as holiday fiction goes, I started reading this at 9pm, and was still reading at 4am – combined with an apartment that was above a bar, and a relatively loud village we stayed in, and while I didn’t finish it in that sitting, I think it was a huge benefit. It’s not a book you can read in snatches I think, and as I finished it off the next day (which to be honest, felt like a bit of a holiday achievement) I didn’t even realise there was a 3rd one till I looked on wikipedia to try work out if I’d really understood the book as it should be.

As I come to the conclusion of the “books I read on holiday” I can’t help but feel a bit drained. Without naming names we’ve had paraplegics, suicide, sexual abuse, cults, affairs, incest – I can understand why I took such a long break from reading for a bit, as it just got so depressing going from sad read to sad read.

I think it’s time to re-read the Dune series or Magician or something a little bit perkier…


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