1Q84 – Murakami keeping it Weird

A coupla three weeks ago I started 1Q84, a novel by Haruki Murakami. It’s not so much of a novel as a TOME. The page count is just under 1200, and it was originally published as a trilogy. It’s huge.

Percentage-wise, I haven’t got very far. My page count is pretty good for as long as I have been chipping away at it. This is going to be a multi-month reading project. I don’t feel like rushing through it–I’m not a booktuber after all so I don’t need to rack up titles read.

Books like this are perfect for what you could call “Slow Reading.” A few pages each evening, or a longer reading session on the weekend or a rainy day. There is enough happening that you won’t get bored, and at the same time you want to savor it. You want to hang out with the characters for 1200 pages.

I’m not going to recount the plot or tell you what it’s about. That is easily googleable. So far there has been several instances of non-violent violence. I don’t know how else to describe it. One of the main characters carries out hits as a side hustle. She does it with so much stealth and precision that not a drop of blood is spilt, not a whimper of despair is emitted. The reader comes away from those scenes wondering what has just happened. Her victims die, that’s all.

There is something about Japanese fiction books that I find a little other-worldy. I’m not exactly steeped in it; I’ve mostly read Murakami who writes weird stuff anyway, and Banana Yoshimoto who was popular back in the 90’s. So why these author’s books always make me feel like I am floating on an invisible cloud just above the action, I don’t know. My guess is that I am harboring some images or stereotypes about Japanese culture that inform my experiences with Japanese fiction.

This video about the book seems to capture this strange quality of 1Q84, Murakami, and the Japanese fiction I have read. I didn’t watch the whole thing because there are clearly spoilers. The whole channel is pretty much a Murakami fan channel so I will be exploring it a little more in the future. In the meantime, have a fantabulous day, and keep it weird

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