I did it. For the first time in a looooong time, I finished a chunkster, and weighing in at a hefty 925 pages, it was a mega-chunkster. Not only that, but I read it in only 4 days! Part of my motivation for reading it so quickly was for a book club discussion. That really gave me the boost I needed. Now I’m encouraged to get to some other tomes I’ve wanted to read like War and Peace, Atlas Shrugged, Gone with the Wind, and Midnight’s Children. Once I get into and start enjoying a longish book, I really do find myself immersed in that world and characters.
I’m not going to go into the plot as it would really take too long and can be found in a multitude of other places; I’ll just give my thoughts on the novel. I found 1Q84 to be extremely engaging. This is only my second Murakami; the first one I read was After Dark, which I also was fascinated by and will probably read again someday. Most readers of my blog know that I’m not big on sex and violence in my reading. Though this book certainly has those elements, I wasn’t bothered by it as much as usual. In fact, in some ways, I thought the some of the violence (not the domestic, though) was a little comical in a Kill Bill sort of way. And some of the sex scenes made me laugh, too — the book was nominated for a Bad Sex Award, after all.
What else was in those 900+ pages that was so engrossing for me? Thoughts on philosophy, religion, free will, music, books, and a Town of Cats just to name a few. There were also minute details of the characters’ days — how they prepared their meals, how they exercised, what they read or wrote. Normally I’m bored to death with details like these in books, but not so here. Why the difference with a Murakami book? I honestly don’t know. He’s just a fascinating author with an amazing talent for drawing his readers into his world.
The book does end somewhat with a conclusion, but after reading 900+ pages of a novel, most readers would expect all the loose ends to be tied up. Not so here — not remotely. Does this bother me? Not really. I guess I enjoyed the journey too much to worry about the destination. I did read in a Murakami interview that there might be a Book 4, or even a Book 0 (prequel). I will definitely be reading that novel if there is one. In the meantime, I’m glad my cats and I have several Murakami’s to curl up with and read together.
2011, 925 pp.
One of the benefits of owning a physical copy: