11 August 2009

1Q84, Part III-ish

I finally finished the first book of 1Q84. In Japan, they usually put out long novels in two books. So I have finished the first 24 chapters or 554 pages, and have another 24 chapters to go.

Very similar to Kafka on the Shore, I've decided, in that the two stories you are following slowly becoming interlinked in interesting and compelling ways. When you start out, you have to work very hard to keep up with the two, but by this point in the book, they are working off each other and the book is gaining steam. I read four chapters today out of necessity, basically.

I love how Murakami doesn't change the world in drastic, but subtle ways, as if you are staring at a picture and swearing that it is moving, although you can never be quite sure. He puts his characters in these sorts of situations where they are unable to distinguish truth from perception of truth. Are there two moons or am I just seeing two moons?

It's not perfect. His portrayal of women is not great sometimes. It's like he's living out a lesbian fantasy through a couple of characters. But it's a terrifying book. The dog died, one character says. Oh that's too bad, another says, it was young wasn't it? A page goes by and we find out the dog was torn to pieces in the front yard during the night. The butler at the house had to pick up the pieces with a paper towel.