Author: Haruki Murakami
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 realizes, 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.
I was really excited to read this book. Maybe it was because of my somewhat high expectations that this book fell relatively low. Or maybe not, I’m not sure. All I know is that this book felt kind of empty to me by the end. It’s a huge book but after the first 300 pages or so the plot seemed to slow down considerably. Nothing much seemed to be happening. There were a couple bumps after that but overall the plot was pretty flat.
That being said, I really enjoyed the setting. This is the first book I’ve read set entirely in Japan and I loved reading about the culture and Tokyo.
I’ve heard that many others enjoyed this book and the characters were engaging and relatable, but as a mostly plot-based reader, I felt a bit disappointed at the end. However, there were still really interesting parts that got me thinking and I’d still recommend this.