Murakami is awesome. So much so that I actually own all but a couple of his books. Even his What I Talk about when I Talk about Running
is worth owning. Having said that, 1Q84
is not Murakami's best book ever, so it really deserves only a 5*- rating, not a full 5*. It's difficult to describe what makes Murakami work. His stories are mostly about ordinary people doing ordinary things. But, there's always something unreal that creeps into the stories, something a bit unreal in the characters and something unreal in their surroundings.
In this particular book, the characters, Aomame and Tengo, somehow slip into an alternate world in which, among other things, there are two moons. It takes a while to figure out that they aren't in the real world any longer. It takes a while to figure out what the relationship is between these two people whose lives we're following in alternate chapters. But taking these whiles to figure things out make for compelling reading. Eventually, it all makes sense, in some rather surreal way. A side effect of this book is that one will also find him- or herself compelled to find a recording of Janáček's Sinfonietta
. So, to help you out, I've already provided a link.
If you've never read Murakami, perhaps you should begin with Wind Up Bird Chronicle
, Kafka on the Shore
, or Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World
. If you have read Murakami before, then why have you not