Thursday, May 31, 2012

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

Sorry for my long absence, but it took that long to read this behemoth of a book! Behemoth meaning 925 pages. This story is told from two (and three, but mainly two) points of view. There is Tengo, a 30 year old cram school teacher, and then you have Aomame (literally meaning "green peas," an unusual name), a 30 year old fitness instructor. They are brought into the world of 1Q84 under odd circumstances, with the easiest identifiable characteristic being two moons in the sky. Tengo, in addition to being a teacher, also is a writer on the side. His publisher go-to person gets in contact with him and wants him to rewrite a book called Air Chrysalis, originally written by the 17 year old Fuki-Eri about things that are assumed to be fictional. But as time goes on, things that occurred in the book actually happen in the world of 1Q84 (like the two moons). Aomame, at the same time, has a side job in addition to martial arts instructing: she kills gentlemen who abuse their wives or girlfriends. An rich, elderly student in her class (known only as the dowanger) finds this out through extensive research and commissions Aomame under false pretenses to help her learn more about self-protection and eventually appeals to Aomame to kill a man known in a religious commune (Sakigake) as Leader. The dowanger is also a proponent of abused females and has a safe house on her property. One day, she finds a girl who had obviously been sexually abused by Leader, and it is at this point that she commissions Aomame to be a part of an elaborate rouse to murder him. Somehow, Tengo and Aomame are linked (I won't give it away) and must find each other so they can both escape this world known as 1Q84, but everything works against them. Will they find each other? Even if they did, can they escape 1Q84?

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