Another very gripping book by Murakami. Spread throughout three books, about 900 pages, 1Q84 is not that easy to sum up. The story revolves around two characters, Aomame and Tengo. They end up in a strange, strange world where "things are not what they seem". It is a love story with many detours. The book is a great page-turner and it is its strength as well as its weakness. I had the three books in one and I literally couldn't put it down but the story was meant to be read in three installments with time in between the releases. Therefore there is a lot of reminders and it can get a bit annoying especially if you're sitting on the edge of your seat. Another thing, Murakami is guilty of is padding: characters paraphrasing each other, the same actions repeated but through the eyes of different people and the explanations in great details of what could be seen as obvious (for instance, a whole paragraph describes how a pregnancy test works... er thanks). I just can't help thinking that the book could have ranked among Murakami's best works if it had been heavily edited out. As it is, it is not quite there.
I am still very much under the spell of Twin Peaks and I kept wondering if there were references to the show in the book (the owl, the woods, the 'little people'). It turns out I wasn't completely off the mark as it was one of Murakami's influence when he wrote The Wind-up Bird Chronicle! I didn't think it was possible but I love him even more for that. I now need to re-read the chronicle in the light of this revelation!
Favourite quote: What I want is for the two of us to meet somewhere by chance, one day, like, passing on the street, or getting on the same bus.Love (Angela Carter, 1971)
First, let me say that Angela Carter is the absolute wordsmith. She writes like some would embroider golden threads on a tapestry. Every sentence is a work of art. I always feel immensely rewarded when I read her work.
In Love, we are the witness of this weird destructive love triangle between a neurotic girl and two brothers. It felt like being projected in a drama/art school where every students' feelings are exacerbated... or like living with the Chenowiths in Six Feet Under.
Favourite quote: Their lovemaking was still permeated by unease for she understood the play of surfaces only superficially; she was like a blind man at a firework display who can only appreciate the fires in the air by interpreting their various degrees of magnificence through the relative enthusiasms of the noisy crowd. The nature of dazzlement was dimly apprehended, not known.