Friday, January 6, 2012

Inconclusive Thoughts on Murakami's 1Q84

I recently finished Book 1 of Haruki Murakami's 1Q84.  I had been looking forward to the series for a long time, waiting impatiently for them to release it in the states.

Turns out they released the series as one book. A 925 page deadweight. (As in, I can barely carry it. As in, I am experiencing physical pain trying to hold it up and read it on the subway.)

I don't particularly like long works of anything.  I firmly believe a film should be no longer than 90 minutes.  925 pages does not exactly fit in the realm of 'what Melissa can handle without going completely bonkers.'

But I may have mentioned once or one million times that I will follow Murakami to the ends of the earth. So, I'm reading this 925 page book, because, when it comes to Murakami, I become Cyborg (or perhaps, in this case, sighborg?) Melissa.

What I love about Murakami's work is the straightforward manner in which his stories are presented.  I am fascinated by his ability to stretch both the mundane and the extraordinary, to take you on the most underwhelming, are we there yet, journey, then wallop you with a ball meets bat crack.

In my mind, his books are not without flaws but that is also what makes them appealing, as if he is one of his own characters, simply making breakfast, getting on the train, making a go at this whole novel thing.  He has a strange way of making a story feel painstaking and effortless at the same time.

I don't have too much of a desire to analyze his books.  I like to be with them for a time and get on with my life.

But I wanted to share this.  Because this is the only way I can adequately express what I love about Murakami.  This right here:

The moon had been observing the earth close-up longer than anyone.  It must have witnessed all the phenomena occurring -- and all of the acts carried out -- on this earth.  But the moon remained silent; it told no stories.  All it did was embrace the heavy past with cool, measured detachment.  On the moon there was neither air nor wind.  Its vacuum was perfect for preserving memories unscathed.  No one could unlock the heart of the moon.  Aomame raised her glass to the moon and asked, "Have you gone to bed with someone in your arms lately?"

The moon did not answer.

"Do you have any friends?" she asked.

The moon did not answer.

"Don't you get tired of always paying it cool?"

The moon did not answer.


  1. I haven't heard of this book or author. I feel very out of the loop. You will have to do a review when you finish. I'm curious :)

  2. You're the second person in the last 12 hours to recommend this book :) I really must start it, but I know what you mean about carrying it around--yeesh, it's heavy!

  3. I've been hearing a ton about this book too. Maybe its time to check it out.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  4. Oooh, those last two lines. Love it!

    And ROFL about the 925-pg deadweight. Awe-inspiring. :)

  5. Oh Yes! Beautiful prose! I must read this book. I had not heard of Murakami, so thank you!

    I feel that I could illustrate this quote ... but probably could not ... it is so vivid and full of poignancy.

    If you would like me to send you an A4 copy of the trees, email me at with your address.

  6. i haven't read any of his books, other than the one he wrote about running...which i LOVED