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1Q84 cover art

1Q84

By: Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin - translator, Philip Gabriel - translator
Narrated by: Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
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Summary

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 realises, 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.

BONUS AUDIO: Audible interviews the translators of 1Q84, Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel.

©2011 Haruki Murakami (P)2011 Audible Ltd

Critic reviews

"It is a work of maddening brilliance and gripping originality, deceptively casual in style...vibrating with wit, intellect and ambition." ( The Times)
"Eerie, suspenseful and packed full of gorgeous ordinary details and provocative extraordinary events...funny, fresh and intensely surreal. Unmissable." ( Marie Claire)

What listeners say about 1Q84

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Magical

If you like Murakami you will love this long, engaging and magical book. The characters, even the minor ones, are all interesting and original and draw you to them. Some of the professional reviewers said that the plot sagged in places but I did not find this and it maintained my interest throughout. The narration, while not quite of the quality of that of Wind Up Bird, does do the book justice. I did find, however, that in parts Allison Hiroto used the same intonation repeatedly (you'll recognise it when you hear it) and it just jarred a little. If you want a long, leisurely read and a gripping story full of
imagination, drama and surprise then read it. Sex scenes sometimes hilarious!

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

interesting but very long and slow

Sorry for the negative review, but whilst very discriptive and well written, I found the book long and very slow.
When I finished the book I was was not left with a feeling of satisfaction that I get when I have enjoyed a book; Maybe it's a cultural difference as the book is translated from Japanese.
My other frustration with the book is that after all the hours building the plot and describing the events the end feels rushed and rather abrupt. oh and be prepared for significant amounts of detailed sex, masterbation and sexual fantasy - I do not have an issue with this but in this text it is rather in your face, (probably some deep symbolism, around birth, rebirth and traversing the dimensions through penetration that sort of thing)- following this I think I will read War a Peace as some light reading.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A strange tale

This is my first Murakami's novel and I still can't say whether I like it or not. I like the fantasy and surreal elements but I don't appreciate the obsession with underage girls in the story. The narration is rather dry, and not because of the narrators but because of the narration itself. It might be a case of translation work but I don't read Japanese so I wouldn't know. There are a lot of repeated bits, as if the reader has the shortest memory.

The two male narrators are great, and it is unfortunate that Allison Hiroto who voiced Aomame isn't as good as the other two narrators. Her intonation doesn't really reflect the emotions of the narrative. Her dialogues are marginally better, but I breathe a sigh of relief when it's Tengo's chapter and I don't have to listen to Aomame's bit for a while.

I won't say this is a terrible book but I would caution anyone who's relatively new to Murakami. Maybe this isn't the best book to start with.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • KT
  • 02-03-15

🌓 reality is more my thing

Not my kind of book, it was difficult to believe and too long! It was easy to loose concentration at times.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

Intriguingly twisting storyline with great strong characters and couldn't put it down. This is my first audio book I ever finished, and I have read several other Murakami books, this is one of my favourite. Thanks

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I love this book

Excellent written and beautiful description of landscape people situations. Beautifully written! I will certainly read more!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An enriching experience

I'm very happy that I read this book. Carefully and mindfully written. A wonderful journey.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Intriguing

This is an interesting novel which is both thought provoking and enlightening. Murakami creates a non 'space age' type science fictionesque story with a refreshing twist.



The narration is very good and brings the characters to life.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Well recommended Murakami

I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and will buy more now from the same author. Contrary to other reviewer I particularly enjoyed the parts narrated by Allison Hiroto and did not find her at all grating. It made the listening easier having a separate reader for each main character.

There's a bit of a breast obsession at times within the novel however the story itself is powerful and gripping. Well recommended audio book.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Audible Meditation

The audio version of this book will definitely rank as one of my all-time favourites. The story, being by Murakami, is of course very well written. I have read some of his other stories and this one is, in my view, not his best. Compared to books by other authors, though, this one is head and shoulders above its competition. The story is set in 1980s Japan, which adds a cultural foreignness that is slight enough not to alienate the reader but strange enough to add to the charm of the story. Moreover, the fantastic element is introduced so gradually that it will even appeal to readers who do not normally like to read fantasy novels. The characters are quirky, likeable and very well developed.

It is, however, the performance that sets this version of the book apart. Allison Hiroto reads with a very, very slight Japanese accent, which is charming and suits the character and the story. Her performance is very deliberate and slow, giving the listener time for consideration. The male narrators are also very good and their voices give credence to the characters they represent. I found myself looking forward to Hiroto's chapters, though, as it was her masterful performance, combined with the sometimes bleak but still fascinatingly foreign scenery of the story, that put me in an almost meditative state of mind.
All in all, I can thoroughly recommend this download.

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