I just finished the 900- odd Haruki Murakami book- 1Q84.
Last week, I read the play Pygmalion by G. B. Shaw for the book club and have just placed an order for another Japanese- authored book 'Remains of the Day' by Kazuo Ishiguro.
After the long, nearly three- week 1Q84 read I can say this- only Murakami could have made this book a hit, even before it was read. The book was originally released as Book I, II & III. May be, if I read it with those intermittent breaks, I'd feel differently. Though even with the three as a bundle I couldn't put the book down. Gripping indeed, speaks of the author's impeccable command over fiction- writing. I even lugged it along on a Pune- Chennai- Trichy trail.
The story, set in Tokya is mystery, suspence, sci-fi and a love story rolled into one. The central characters of Tengo, Aomame, Fuka- Eri are unconnected individuals within a seemingly disconnected but connected setting. More than half the way through the book, the connectedness starts to show, although it is still not completely predictable- once it has been established by the Leader on the night of his death by Aomame, their conversation draws the reader into the workings of the parallel world of 1Q84. From this point on, the read becomes murky and opaquish. Also the poetic style of Murakami starts to fade.
A great inception, that sets your imagination balloon- up to conjure the Murakami story, floats along higher and higher until it doesn't have enough fuel and so it commences its descent. Nevertheless, the book is a good read. A good tip is to judge a book by its read. Neither by its cover, nor its author.
As an aside, its quite soothing, a hot cup of cocoa in hand while you distill and process a good book when the night has set and all the sounds have receded into 'silent' mode.
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