Saturday, October 15, 2011

1Q84-Haruki Murakami; translated by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel


Haruki Murakami; translated by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel

Knopf, Oct 28 2011, $30.50

ISBN: 9780307593313

Thirty years old Aomame caught the cab in Kuta heading inbound towards Tokyo. However, an accident shuts down the expressway. The cabby suggests Aomame whose name means green peas to try something different. Bored the passenger agrees; she leaves the taxi stuck on the elevated highway traffic jam to walk down stairs into a rabbit hole.

Thirty tears old Tengo the bored math teacher is the ghostwriter for teenage girl Fuka-Eri's bestseller Air Chrysalis. He too disappears.

Aomame realizes she is not in her Tokyo as the cops are uniformed and supplied with different guns; she calls her new land 1Q84. Though she wonders how to go home, an animated Aomame becomes involved in criminal activity. Meanwhile Tengo obsesses on a quest to find his childhood friend Aomame before the rules that she apparently is shattering in this Tokyo turns into pandemic chaos while the Sakigake cult hunt for this infamous female.

This is an omnibus translation of a powerful epic trilogy as Haruki Murakami explores the degrees of connection and separation between people within an Alice-Orwellian Tokyo. The story line is fascinating as the plot purposely meanders as it mirrors relationships. Still readers will enjoy Tengo’s quest to save Aomame from her becoming the trend setter on her 1Q84 world.

Harriet Klausner

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