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Other => Media Room => Topic started by: GrayGhost81 on April 14, 2015, 10:34:48 AM



Title: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: GrayGhost81 on April 14, 2015, 10:34:48 AM
(http://www.michaeljohngrist.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/1Q84.jpg)

1Q84 is a novel by Haruki Murakami written in three volumes in Japanese between 2009-2010 and released in English 2011.

The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

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.

A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s—1Q84 is Haruki Murakami’s most ambitious undertaking yet: an instant best seller in his native Japan, and a tremendous feat of imagination from one of our most revered contemporary writers.


***

Singlebanana and I started reading it this week and have agreed that it would be cool to discuss it publicly as we read through it and encourage any interested RFGeneration members to join us!

There is no deadline nor checkpoints for this. The complete novel is over one thousand pages long. The great thing about a book discussion is that you can clearly note where you're pulling your spoilers from, before putting them in spoiler tags of course.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1Q84

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10357575-1q84

http://www.amazon.com/1Q84-Vintage-International-Haruki-Murakami/dp/0307476464/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429026380&sr=8-1&keywords=1q84

So grab a copy and dive in!

Note: This novel contains explicit sexual and violent material and is recommended for a mature audience.

(http://www.khaleejtimes.com/images/HARUKI612015.jpg)


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: SirPsycho on April 14, 2015, 12:06:13 PM
RFGen book club meeting #1.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on April 14, 2015, 07:44:17 PM
looks like i don't own it but i placed a hold at the library, hopefully it comes in soon. a few copies are due to be returned around the start of may, but they might show up sooner. in the meantime i think i'll read 1984 by George Orwell as it seems like a good prerequisite to this.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: GrayGhost81 on April 15, 2015, 01:16:11 PM
I'm halfway through Chapter four. Murakami has been criticized for being overly verbose and leaving in a lot of superfluous dialogue, but being that my favorite author is Ayn Rand, I'm right at home with his style.

I'm enjoying the bouncing back and forth between the two main characters for each chapter so far. It makes me want to keep reading when a chapter ends.  Well that and that they're both pretty interesting already. Aomame's story thread is already filled with sex and action so that I want to see what happens to her next especially.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: singlebanana on April 15, 2015, 01:22:55 PM
And let's not forget Tengo and his lactose dream fainting..... :P


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on April 16, 2015, 01:02:19 PM
just got an email telling me my hold is ready for pickup at the library! sooner than expected, but i'm about 2/3 of the way through 1984 already so hopefully i'll have that finished by tomorrow at the latest.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: GrayGhost81 on April 16, 2015, 01:10:14 PM
Awesome Jaime!

I can't put this book down. It is pretty much as strange as advertised, but I was really afraid it would be a tough read. On the contrary, I'm finding myself flying through it.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: GrayGhost81 on April 17, 2015, 09:37:13 AM
Man, this book is great. It is so odd and mysterious that when people ask me what it is about, I don't even know where to begin. I'm to the point now where some possibly significant plot threads are starting to form, but if everything before that was all (or some) for naught, it wouldn't matter as it is simply written in a way that makes whatever it is being written about interesting to read. That's a testament to the translation work as well of course.

I'm so glad I decided to pick this book up at a flea market last week, even though it was beat to shit, and further that Rich happened to be reading it already which spurred me to jump in.

Rich where you at?

How about anyone else? I know Ray and Jaime were working on procuring their copies. Anyone else going to jump in with us?


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: Shadow Kisuragi on April 17, 2015, 09:55:21 AM
Still planning on going to the book sale on Saturday to see if they have it... ;)


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: singlebanana on April 17, 2015, 10:14:41 AM
I just hit Chapter 4 last night, so there was a big revelation in 3 as to what Aomame's occupation is. Wow, delivered the only way someone like Murakami can do it. I'm hooked. The book's out in my car so that I can read during lunch.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on April 17, 2015, 02:34:44 PM
i had it in my hands at work last night but forgot to bring it home, oops. oh well, still have another 60 pages or so in 1984 anyway so i'll probably start it tomorrow when i'm back at work.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: GrayGhost81 on April 20, 2015, 06:39:04 AM
In my mind I'm imagining a white canvas on which two different color paint blobs are dropped. Tengo is a blue blob, Aomame is red (the colors have no significance, just trying to put you in my mind's eye). As the story unfolds, both paint blobs spread out in all different directions across the canvas and in some places, the two different colors cross paths and blend with each other. The main blobs (you might say the points of impact on the canvas) are, however still completely separate.

As much as I love our two main characters, I think Fuka-Eri is so effectively intriguing that I'm finding myself looking forward to Tengo's chapters in the hopes that he will be interacting with her.

I have added a disclaimer to the OP in regards to how explicit the novel is. Though I don't think anyone here will have an issue, Murakami pulls no punches with regards to sexual or violent material.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: singlebanana on April 20, 2015, 07:46:09 AM
In my mind I'm imagining a white canvas on which two different color paint blobs are dropped. Tengo is a blue blob, Aomame is red (the colors have no significance, just trying to put you in my mind's eye). As the story unfolds, both paint blobs spread out in all different directions across the canvas and in some places, the two different colors cross paths and blend with each other. The main blobs (you might say the points of impact on the canvas) are, however still completely separate.

As much as I love our two main characters, I think Fuka-Eri is so effectively intriguing that I'm finding myself looking forward to Tengo's chapters in the hopes that he will be interacting with her.

I have added a disclaimer to the OP in regards to how explicit the novel is. Though I don't think anyone here will have an issue, Murakami pulls no punches with regards to sexual or violent material.

That is such an apt description of this novel and a technique Murakami has implored before. There are indeed two separte tracts, one red and one blue, and at times they will mingle and make purple. The characters may not ever contact directly, but they will interact among the fringes. In one of our podcasts, I mentioned "Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World," a novel I was reading during that time. In that, Murakami uses a similar technique, though one character is based in a cyber, film noir world of non-fiction, and the other exists in a fantastical world thought (maybe) to be a part of the human mind/conscious. I think it's neat to get these sort of alternating chapters, but it really challenges the author to keep both stories intriguing so that you are not just trying to slug through one section to get the character's story you like better. With my background, I tend to find the Tengo story a little more interesting and agree that the mysterious Fuka-Eri really keeps the pages turning. I'm a little over 100 pages in and progressing a bit slower than normal....


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: Shadow Kisuragi on April 20, 2015, 08:32:10 AM
That description really reminds me of portions of Cloud Atlas, which was fantastic in its own right. Aomame, in Japanese, is a large soybean/pea - not sure if that helps with character development at all, but it struck me as an intentional choice, and Japan has a cultural fixation with soybeans.

Unfortunately, I had to cancel my trip to the book sale due to my college work falling behind too far, so I wasn't able to pick up a copy. I may still try to find one online from Amazon, or make a trip out to the library (which is ~12 miles away).


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on April 20, 2015, 09:56:36 PM
that does sound very similar to cloud atlas which i found to be amazing as well. if this is anything like that then i'm excited to get started! had a pretty busy weekend so i didn't get a chance to start yet but i will, finishing up 1984 tonight so i'll probably start 1Q84 before bed.

edit: finished 1984! really enjoyed that but man that last part was brutal.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: GrayGhost81 on April 21, 2015, 05:15:10 AM
Aomame, in Japanese, is a large soybean/pea - not sure if that helps with character development at all, but it struck me as an intentional choice, and Japan has a cultural fixation with soybeans.

Nice catch. It is addressed almost immediately in the book too.

On a different note, I didn't realize this was classified as a "hipster" book. That people concern themselves with such things amazes me, though I suppose I'm fueling the fire by sharing this link.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/06/hipster-book_n_5242399.html


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on April 21, 2015, 02:56:44 PM
Aomame, in Japanese, is a large soybean/pea - not sure if that helps with character development at all, but it struck me as an intentional choice, and Japan has a cultural fixation with soybeans.

Nice catch. It is addressed almost immediately in the book too.

On a different note, I didn't realize this was classified as a "hipster" book. That people concern themselves with such things amazes me, though I suppose I'm fueling the fire by sharing this link.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/06/hipster-book_n_5242399.html

i browse 4chan's /lit/ board regularly, they look down on this book quite often but anything they say obviously is taken with a grain of salt.

I just started it last night and am about 20 pages in, partway through chapter 2. the last few pages of chapter 1 were really interesting, especially the staircase and Aomame's walk to it. i had a strong impression of Alice going down the rabbit hole, or maybe Persephone's descent into Hades. Anyone else notice that?

Maybe it'll come up later as the story unfolds but there must be some significance to Aomame's misshapen left ear, Murakami draws too much attention to it for it to be meaningless. I can't think of what it could mean at this point though.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: singlebanana on April 21, 2015, 03:40:55 PM
He has a bit of thing for ears (see "Wild Sheep Chase") ;)


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: GrayGhost81 on April 21, 2015, 04:05:51 PM
i had a strong impression of Alice going down the rabbit hole, or maybe Persephone's descent into Hades. Anyone else notice that?

As obvious as that one might seem, I didn't pick up on it myself but I like it now that you pointed it out.

Maybe it'll come up later as the story unfolds but there must be some significance to Aomame's misshapen left ear, Murakami draws too much attention to it for it to be meaningless. I can't think of what it could mean at this point though.

What Rich said, but also I think it will receive further explanation.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on April 22, 2015, 12:34:05 AM
just found out that 1Q84 is a trilogy...the 900 page one is all 3 combined, i had no idea.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: Shadow Kisuragi on April 22, 2015, 12:43:43 AM
See any parallels yet between 1984 and 1Q84, tech?


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: GrayGhost81 on April 22, 2015, 05:05:38 AM
just found out that 1Q84 is a trilogy...the 900 page one is all 3 combined, i had no idea.

1Q84 is a novel by Haruki Murakami written in three volumes in Japanese between 2009-2010 and released in English 2011.

Sometimes it pays to read the OP ;).


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on April 23, 2015, 02:50:16 PM
just found out that 1Q84 is a trilogy...the 900 page one is all 3 combined, i had no idea.

1Q84 is a novel by Haruki Murakami written in three volumes in Japanese between 2009-2010 and released in English 2011.

Sometimes it pays to read the OP ;).

oh, it does say three volumes there lol didn't even notice...i swear i read most of the OP :P

@shadow not entirely, a few minor similarities like it opening in April of 1984 just like in orwell's 1984. And that Aomame and Tengo both share some similarities with Winston Smith, but nothing major yet.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: GrayGhost81 on April 25, 2015, 09:48:17 AM
I'm six chapters into book two. The pendulum swings back towards Aomame's chapters being a lot more exciting towards the end of book one but now Tengo's chapters are heating up again.

Spoiler (hover to show)

I haven't read 1984 since high school, but I'm not seeing huge parallels yet. The characters make various references to it constantly though.

Last week I noted something about the explicit sexual nature of this novel. Almost halfway through the book, it really doesn't let up. It's almost a bit too much at times.

I'm still enjoying the book immensely though.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on April 25, 2015, 04:56:03 PM
not much to say yet, i'm still only about 65 or 70 pages in. parts of it feel like they're starting to get very repetitious, especially with Tengo talking about Fuka-Eri being so mysterious...he says the same core things about her repeatedly in slightly different wording.

the one explicit scene with aomame and the old guy at the hotel pub that i've read so far did seem a bit much. it really seems like the sex is treated poorly, there's no elegance to it and it just feels like Murakami wanted shock value more than anything. if it felt more realistic i might forgive it being graphic, but come on, she goes and asks a complete stranger how big his dick is in the middle of a fairly decent public place, then he just goes along with it like it's a little weird but hardly out of the ordinary.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: Shadow Kisuragi on April 25, 2015, 05:03:45 PM
What, that's not a normal social interaction?


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on April 26, 2015, 05:16:12 PM
just hit the start of book 1 chapter 10, a little over 110 pages in. shawn and rich, how many pages in are you? i can't tell how far behind i am from chapters alone without a table of contents...worried about spoiling things if i look ahead too much.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: GrayGhost81 on April 26, 2015, 05:39:27 PM
I'm working on chapter 11 of book two (556 pages in). Basically, I'm halfway through the entire novel. I had a few long plane flights this past weekend and was able to knock out almost 300 pages rather quickly.

It's interesting how you and I feel so differently about Fuka-Eri. I think I just have "taken the bait" much the way Tengo has.

And yeah, the sexual stuff doesn't let up. I've just kind of accepted it. It is part of real life, and some authors (and filmmakers etc) choose to include more sexual details in their work and it just seems Murakami is one of those authors. I don't actually think he includes these details just for shock value. Although some points seem gratuitously salacious, I do believe they are satisfactorily justified for character development.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on April 26, 2015, 10:03:01 PM
I'm working on chapter 11 of book two (556 pages in). Basically, I'm halfway through the entire novel. I had a few long plane flights this past weekend and was able to knock out almost 300 pages rather quickly.

It's interesting how you and I feel so differently about Fuka-Eri. I think I just have "taken the bait" much the way Tengo has.

And yeah, the sexual stuff doesn't let up. I've just kind of accepted it. It is part of real life, and some authors (and filmmakers etc) choose to include more sexual details in their work and it just seems Murakami is one of those authors. I don't actually think he includes these details just for shock value. Although some points seem gratuitously salacious, I do believe they are satisfactorily justified for character development.

like i said i'm still early enough in where i don't have a whole lot to say yet, any opinions i have now could easily change as the story progresses. it's not a bad book by any means, it just has some things that at this point feel flawed.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on April 30, 2015, 11:59:29 AM
almost 200 pages in, the connections between Aomame and Tengo are really getting stronger. i definitely like your analogy about the drops of paint Shawn, it fits very well.

i can also completely see the comparison between this book and Cloud Atlas, i'd highly recommend that to anyone who likes 1Q84 and vice versa.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: GrayGhost81 on May 01, 2015, 06:22:35 PM
I just finished book two.

Finally, about halfway through book two, the pornographic nature of the prose hits a climax (pun intended) and cools off for a while.

The paint analogy continues to hold up, though now I feel as if someone (God, or maybe BIG BROTHER) is slowly folding the canvas in half, and at any minute I'm ready for the canvas to snap shut on the itself and the two paint blobs to finally smash together.

However, I noticed that the main subject of the first chapter of book three (it's not really a spoiler, go ahead and take a look):

Spoiler (hover to show)

One thing I keep thinking is that I can't wait to finish this book so that I can read up on how the hell this has anything to do with Orwell's 1984, because I'm not seeing it at all.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on May 02, 2015, 11:56:46 AM
i don't think it has anything to do with 1984 in a direct way, i think it's just chock full of references and comparisons. from what i know at around 250 pages in of Sakigake and Akebono, both of those seem similar to Oceania and Eastasia/Eurasia in some ways.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on May 10, 2015, 11:12:16 PM
just passed the halfway point, at the start of Book 2 Chapter 14
Spoiler (hover to show)

really getting into it, and i'm seeing the 1984 comparisons even more now.

the writing can be a bit sub-par at times but overall it's not bad. i wish a lot of the references were used with more subtlety instead of always saying "this is just like in The Brother's Karamazov" or whatever the reference of the day happens to be. sometime's i'm thinking "hmm this could be an interesting allusion to something, i wonder what?" and then it's like "oh. he just told me what." i don't really mind that much, i still enjoy when those moments happen, i just feel like it could be done better.

are either of you finished it now? and where's Rich at, haven't heard much from him?


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: GrayGhost81 on May 11, 2015, 04:56:33 AM
I'm a little more than halfway through book three. Like I said, I don't want to spoil it, but in book three the chapters alternate between three different characters instead of two. The focus on this new character is kind of a case of "too little, too late" or to put it another way, I really don't care about this person at this point. Nine hundred pages into this thing, I just want more of our hero and heroine.

Still a great book and a page-turner, but I can identify with people who say it could have been a little shorter. I'm motivated to finish it soon because I told a friend of mine I would give him my copy before I move.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: singlebanana on May 11, 2015, 08:25:04 AM
Sorry guys. I've been plugging a lot of time into the playthrough of Shining Force and it's a really busy time of year for me. Evenings consist of kids' practices/games, lots of Spring yardwork, and working on getting my pool up and running for the Summer. At the end of the day, all I want to do is crash and reading a page or two just puts me to sleep. Glad to hear you guys are pretty much enjoying the book. I love Murakami, but probably not the one I would have suggested starting with. I hope this doesn't sway either of you in any way from reading some of his other stuff.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on May 15, 2015, 10:19:51 AM
I'm a little more than halfway through book three. Like I said, I don't want to spoil it, but in book three the chapters alternate between three different characters instead of two. The focus on this new character is kind of a case of "too little, too late" or to put it another way, I really don't care about this person at this point. Nine hundred pages into this thing, I just want more of our hero and heroine.

Still a great book and a page-turner, but I can identify with people who say it could have been a little shorter. I'm motivated to finish it soon because I told a friend of mine I would give him my copy before I move.

i agree, it definitely could have been shorter. many segments feel like it's not offering anything new and only repeating earlier segments, and the dialogue can get quite repetitive too with almost every character repeating everything that's said to them. it's not a terrible book by any means but it has it's issues. like you said it's definitely a page turner and i want to know how it ends for sure.

i'm a couple chapters into book 3 now as well so it sounds like i'm catching up, i hit the point with the third character and i'm a little disappointed. out of all the interesting characters it could have been, the one that gets the spotlight is the one i cared least about. oh well, at least tengo and aomame still have their usual chapters too and it's not just him.

I love Murakami, but probably not the one I would have suggested starting with. I hope this doesn't sway either of you in any way from reading some of his other stuff.

i've heard this too that it's not the best way to start with him, and that this one seems to be one of his lesser books in a lot of people's minds. i'm still interested in his style though and will definitely check out his other works at some point.

overall i've enjoyed getting to read this along with you guys, even if it's pretty much been just me and shawn. just like with the playthroughs, it's cool to have someone to share opinions with and get another viewpoint on what i'm reading. i'd like to do it again once we finish this book but maybe something shorter this time ;)


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: GrayGhost81 on May 15, 2015, 10:29:46 AM
Damn, was gonna bump this thread for crossing the quadruple-digit page number threshold, but Jamie beat me to it!

Agree with all your points. The characters are great at regurgitating exactly what has already happened, but I don't mind reading it because of how elegantly written it is.

Having said that, like some video games that approach the 100ish hour mark, I'm starting to feel like I'm ready to wrap it up, no matter how good it is.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on May 16, 2015, 09:12:52 PM
i'm not far enough into book 3 to really know all there is to this book yet, but at this point i have a strong sense that Fuka-Eri is
Spoiler (hover to show)
and not the other way around as implied by the Air Chrysalis story.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on May 18, 2015, 12:14:45 AM
i've started to notice a theme in this book, very late in it but thinking back on earlier sections i think it fits well. the overall theme to this book that i'm getting is powerlessness. in nearly every situation each character has faced, there has always been some form of powerlessness in regards to what they can do to affect things. Aomame may be strong as a person, but she is powerless to do anything about Sakigake after what she did to them except run. Tengo is powerless at almost every turn, accepting anything from everyone no matter what is asked of him (after some hemming and hawing that is). many other instances hint at the powerlessness of other characters in passing. no matter what you choose to do, the world keeps moving forward.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: GrayGhost81 on May 19, 2015, 09:02:29 AM
So, I'm about to finish the book (EDIT: FINISHED! FIRSTIES!) and there are some really beautiful things that go on that I'm going to need time to organize my thoughts about. For now however I have to put it out there that the only thing more over the top than the sexuality in this book is the degree to which we are beaten over the head with descriptions of Ushikawa's ugliness, to the point where whenever he is present, all I can think of is this:

Spoiler (hover to show)


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on May 20, 2015, 09:46:58 AM
So, I'm about to finish the book (EDIT: FINISHED! FIRSTIES!) and there are some really beautiful things that go on that I'm going to need time to organize my thoughts about. For now however I have to put it out there that the only thing more over the top than the sexuality in this book is the degree to which we are beaten over the head with descriptions of Ushikawa's ugliness, to the point where whenever he is present, all I can think of is this:

Spoiler (hover to show)

congratulations on finishing! i'm around 725 pages in, still 200 to go or so.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: GrayGhost81 on May 22, 2015, 07:59:44 AM
So, having had a few days to digest the book, I can't help but apply the whole thing to my current personal situation, which every one knows about here, so I won't go into crazy detail. I do feel like my life right now is some kind of alternate reality. A reality where I live in NJ and my wife lives in TX is still bizarre and unimaginable in many ways.

I actually read my wife a few passages from the very end of the book last night. Everything really, really hit home for me as the story finally wrapped itself up.

Spoiler (hover to show)

Put a tiger in your tank.



Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: singlebanana on May 22, 2015, 08:17:25 AM
Though I haven't read this book all the way through, I will say that no matter how bizarre a Murakami story is, there is always something in them that resonates with me personally. I think this is a big part of the draw for me and why I've read so many of his works.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: GrayGhost81 on May 22, 2015, 08:19:12 AM
I have The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle in my amazon cart on your recommendation, Rich. Looking forward to checking it out.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: singlebanana on May 22, 2015, 08:20:07 AM
I have The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle in my amazon cart on your recommendation, Rich. Looking forward to checking it out.

Man, you're going to love it. At least I hope so. Ha!


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on May 24, 2015, 04:01:34 PM
finished!

i have extremely mixed feelings about this book. it did have moments that felt quite beautiful, but those were mixed in among many more that felt very forced. it felt like Murakami was actively trying to be "literary" without actually nailing it. it didn't come across as well as someone who just sets out to write a novel and their writing naturally becomes literary.

that said, i did enjoy it enough to finish it relatively quickly, it was definitely extremely interesting and a real page-turner. on the whole i don't think i would recommend this to anyone though. length alone doesn't make a book bad, but this book felt like it really had no need to be long. so many segments felt like they were just repeats of earlier segments in slightly different words, but not the good sort of repetition like you would find in the Iliad or the Odyssey.

my opinion on this story definitely leans more towards disliking it but it did interest me in murakami and japanese literature enough to go out and buy another Murakami book (A Wild Sheep Chase), and a collection of japanese classics by Ryunosuke Akutagawa (which coincidentally happens to have an introduction written by Murakami).

edit: Grayghost81 and I discussed it and we'd like to do this again sometime, but both of us (especially him) are pretty busy right now so we'll probably start up another thread around mid-june. Expect us to be reading The Sea by John Banville this time around, a much shorter novel ;)


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on May 24, 2015, 05:05:54 PM
this feels fitting after finishing this book.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4Pw3wPSF9Q


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on May 24, 2015, 06:18:37 PM
really good review on 1Q84 from the NYT here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/books/review/1q84-by-haruki-murakami-translated-by-jay-rubin-and-philip-gabriel-book-review.html?_r=2&nl=books&emc=booksupdateema1

it sums up a lot of my feelings on this book, but in better ways and more specific examples than i could.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: GrayGhost81 on May 24, 2015, 06:32:40 PM
Jaime, my man, thank you for reading this book with me. I will treasure it deeply forever.

I am alone in New Jersey drinking red wine and thinking about days past and future and how this book will stay with me forever and how I'm so happy you and I finished it.

I will take the time to elaborate on the novel and we will read more books in the future but I just want to say that it was really important to me that I would have this waiting for me when I arrive in Austin next week:

(http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/OTg2WDkwMQ==/z/ckcAAOSw-7RVCZsa/$_57.JPG)

I have a lot of the same feelings as you and again, when I have the time to elaborate on them I will, but suffice it to to say, damn, what a book. Like, I was going to give away my copy to a friend of mine tomorrow, but if he isn't there...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbncXDimwbQ



Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: techwizard on May 24, 2015, 08:45:39 PM
that Esso token is awesome, and i wish i had thought of looking up the sinfonietta earlier so i could have had an idea what sort of music it was. listening now, it's a lot more dramatic than i expected.


Title: Re: Haruki Murakami 1Q84 Discussion Thread - There's always only one reality.
Post by: singlebanana on January 12, 2018, 01:23:25 PM
Well, time to rattle the dust off of this thread....

I know it sounds odd, but one of my issues with 1Q84 initially was the combined pressing. The book was so cumbersome and heavy and the imbalance of pages on each side just made it really difficult for me to concentrate on reading it. However, just before Christmas, I went out and bought the three volume set.  This was the perfect way for me to approach this book. I started sometime around Christmas and I'm already DONE!

What a fantastic book and at the top of my favorites from this author (Wind-Up Bird still being tops)!  I agree with a lot of what Jamie is saying about the book, especially in the third section.  Much like the Cat Town, the chapters don't really go anywhere. Everyone is "holed up" and has little movement.  I'm not a big fan of the Ushikawa chapters added to the third part and his investigation only seems to regurgitate everything we already know about Tengo and Aomame. However, about 2/3 through the 3rd book, things pick back up and move toward an exciting climax. Side note: Ushikawa also shows up in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Murakami puts characters in other books sometimes, and I love this subtle technique.

Shawn, I can only imagine how you felt in your past situation when you read the part of the "slide" scene.  It was the one part in the story that I had to reread a few times because it was well written and captivating.  

I'm sure this has been widely written about, but there are several allusions to other works of literature beside 1984. Two of the most prominent in my reading were Macbeth and more under the radar, Grimm's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.  Wondering if you guys caught these and what your thoughts are?  Ah hell, no one will probably ever read this anyway ha ha, but I wanted to share.

I may talk about the book in our next podcast, but it will probably be rather brief.