Earlier this month in my English class, we were assigned an interesting project, by the end of the week, we had to individually choose an Asian author and do a short presentation about their life and work. On a whim, I chose Japanese author Haruki Murakami, after catching a glimpse of some of his books on the Internet. However, I figured that I couldn’t give a bona-fide presentation on this guy without reading a book or two of his, so I checked out his latest novel, 1Q84, and found myself unable to put it down. Needless to say, my presentation was a success- I came to love Murakami’s work so much that I just had to tell others about it!
In 1Q84, readers follow the main character Aomame (which means “green peas” in Japanese!) on a mysterious and radical adventure as she leaves behind the world she knows and loves and enters a completely new reality. This unknown realm, which she names “1Q84”, is filled with both whimsy and danger, from the arrival of dangerous Little People to the sudden appearance of two moons in the sky. After bumbling around for a bit, Aomame realizes why she has been placed in this world- she needs to a) kill the leader of a religious group known for its daunting secrecy, and b) find her true love, who happens to be a boy she never spoke to in elementary school. The plot may be intricate and a bit confusing, but that’s how Murakami incorporates his elements of fantasy, magic, and darkness.
If you can’t already tell, I completely fell in love with this book. While it may be considered ginormous at its staggering 1000+ pages, every single sentence is filled to the brim with exquisite detail and striking depth. Haruki Murakami’s unique writing style shines through this novel, and I can assure you that once you pick up this book, it will never leave your hands until you read the very last word! If you are a sucker for realistic stories with a fantastical twist, then 1Q84 is the book for you. I know I’ll definitely be reading it again!
-Lucy, River Teen Advisory Board