Once Upon A Bookshelf

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1Q84: Book 3

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 11:12 am June 29, 2013.
Category: Speculative Fiction
Book Author(s):
Publisher(s): ,

Author: Haruki Murakami
Originally Published: 2009
Translated Edition Published: 2011
Publisher: Anchor Canada, an imprint of Random House
Source: Received from publisher

The Story

1Q84 - Book 3From Random House of Canada‘s website:

The long-awaited magnum opus from Haruki Murakami, in which this revered and bestselling author gives us his hypnotically addictive, mind-bending ode to George Orwell’s 1984.

The year is 1984. Aomame is riding in a taxi on the expressway, in a hurry to carry out an assignment. Her work is not the kind that can be discussed in public. When they get tied up in traffic, the taxi driver suggests a bizarre ‘proposal’ to her. Having no other choice she agrees, but as a result of her actions she starts to feel as though she is gradually becoming detached from the real world. She has been on a top secret mission, and her next job leads her to encounter the superhuman founder of a religious cult. Meanwhile, Tengo is leading a nondescript life but wishes to become a writer. He inadvertently becomes involved in a strange disturbance that develops over a literary prize. While Aomame and Tengo impact on each other in various ways, at times by accident and at times intentionally, they come closer and closer to meeting. Eventually the two of them notice that they are indispensable to each other. Is it possible for them to ever meet in the real world?

The Response

This trilogy has been absolutely amazing. I didn’t know what to expect throughout the whole trilogy – each new chapter and each new book very pleasantly surprised me and kept me guessing at what would happen next. Even the ending of this last book has me wondering what will happen to the main characters now, though we have been given good closure.

This book picks up very close to where the second one left off, though we’ve had a third narrator included into the mix – Ushikawa. While we met Ushikawa in one of the earlier books (though I don’t remember which one), and we know that he is working with the crazy religious cult, we hadn’t really seen much about him other than that. This was a good way to allow us to know more about the crazy religious cult – to even make the bad guys of the whole trilogy slightly more understandable and less evil. It was interesting to see how all of the changes in the world that our two protagonists were experiencing were being felt by others in the world.

I felt that this additional narrator was definitely needed. If it had just been Tengo and Aomame then the story may have dragged on a bit – Aomame is in hiding for the majority of the novel, and there’s only so many times that a reader would want to go over her daily routine when she doesn’t have any interactions with other people.

The way Murakami crafted this story was absolutely genius. I am so thoroughly impressed with his writing and story-telling ability. The way this story was told, to keep the reader interested from the beginning… how the characters (even secondary ones) are developed so fully… how the worlds he has developed are so real… it’s just all so apparent how much love and care Murakami must have put into this book. Absolutely beautiful.

The Bottom Line

Highly recommended! I thoroughly enjoyed Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 trilogy.