Haruki Murakami’s cult following ensures that no new book he publishes ever goes unnoticed. Of course, buzz is far more interesting when you read something along with the hype, instead of dragging your heals for six months. But no bother, I’ve finally finished book 1 & 2 of Murakami’s latest trilogy, 1Q84.
The book is comprised two interwoven narratives; a gun for hire and a lost, reclusive author. When the author is asked to rewrite a 17 year old’s mystical tale of the little people and air chrysalis, the two lives begin to re-converge. But the world is not what it was - that was left behind on a stairwell leading from an expressway.
The book is long and and a little strange, but not in the off the wall way I was expecting. Considering the hype and the strange name of the book I was expecting Murakami at his most mind bending - dense and confusing like he was with The Wind up Bird Chronicles. Instead, 1Q84 is altogether a slower and more comprehensible tale. It unfolds so slowly that the strangest occurrences hardly seem that weird - if cats were to fall from the sky, we would have discussed the predictions for fifty pages.
But this length isn’t a problem; it’s comforting. Murakami’s perception is beautiful, and seeing the everyday through his eyes is exquisite. Music, food, trains, cars and building interiors become captivating, and (as with all my favourite art) I find myself drawn into a world that is alone, but not lonely.
I will hunt down the final book. While the story ends on something of a cliffhanger (by Murakami standards), I’m not gagging to find out what happens next. But it will be nice to slide back into the world of a man who sees so well.
Mark Latham - Climate change denial not just for fools
New albums for this week:
It’s going to be a good week for writing an essay on energy efficiency, if a such thing exists.