Book Review: 1Q84 (1-3) by Haruki Murakami

A slow burn book, you have to take time to read. 1Q84 is fiction, and in a way, it’s fantasy with its magical realism, but I don’t think genres matter that much as long as the story speaks to you. At first, I was in love with the book. The language and the mystery what was happening drew me in, and I needed to understand what Anomae, an assassin trainer, and Tengo, a mathematics teacher and writer, have to do with each other and how they fit into this bizarre world where the normality is skewed. But soon the book exhausted me, with its detailed account of those main characters days and thoughts, and the plot didn’t seem to move on. I got frustrated when the first book was a prolonged prologue.

I thought the second book would bring an action with it, but that wasn’t the case. Yes, “the plot” moved on, but it took loops, and it didn’t mind staying put, and being weird, making odd leaps here and there. At some point, I stopped caring about Anomae or Tengo, they felt like empty shells, swimming through words portraying their day. And I feel bad about this. The themes of the book: abuse, religious power, love, and compassion are not something you walk away easily without commitment and, yet, I did.

If you are those who love an endless book without the need for a solid plot and like to stay in the mood even when it is naive at sometimes or bizarre at others or boring at places or fantastic occasionally, then this is a book for you. But if you don’t care for endless descriptions and want happenings to have coherence, then I might not pick this up.

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