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.

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. 

I’ve really dropped the ball on posting; as a result, I’ve fallen very behind on book reviews. Of all the books I’ve read this year though, this one has affected me the most. A whooping 1,157 pages (a compiled trilogy) – I finished this one in two weeks. This is the first Murakami book I’ve read and it made me an instant fan. I absolutely fell in love with the characters and this story. Best described as magical realism, I was afraid it would feel disjointed and make little sense, but this was not the case at all. The story was easy to follow despite it being unusual. It’s hard to even explain, but this story is definitely one that will stay with me for a long time. I can’t even imagine how beautiful this must be to read in the native language it was written. I’ve already picked up a couple other Murakami books – The wine-up bird chronicle and Kafka on the Shore – and plan to pick up most if not all of his other books.

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