Saturday, 13 February 2016

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

“One night near the end of July, the thick clouds that had long covered the sky finally cleared, revealing two moons”

Murakami is, to me, a weird and wonderful writer who combines escapist fantasy with a strangely grounded realism in a manner which continues to engage. This tome has been sitting on my TBR shelf for what seems like aeons, the sheer volume and weight of it was a little intimidating. Too heavy to pack for a holiday read and too good looking to run around with, risking damage to the gorgeous, yet fragile dust jacket.

Apparently this was originally published in 3 volumes, which would have driven me to distraction and I'm thankful all were combined in this English translation. I was swept through the two tales of Aomame - the assassin who cleverly wreaks vengeance on sexual transgressors with her trusty tool ( that sounds a little phallic) and the boy who held her hand for one brief unforgettable moment in school, Tengo - the ghostwriter working with a young, dyslexic would-be author with ties to a strange cult. Two moons appear as evidence of the alternate world that Aomame and Tengo have found themselves in, the one that Aomame calls 1Q84.

To discuss the plot though is probably a waste of time. Certainly it is convoluted, but then so is any vivid dream and reading this is like being immersed in a dreamlike state. Will Aomame and Tengo find each other and a way out of the world of cats? I'm not about to tell you that when you can enjoy the journey of some 925 pages for yourself. 

 5 out of 5  readers should know I am not a cat person.

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