That night when Aomame went to Hotel Okura, had her first (and last) encounter with Leader was also the same night when Fuka-Eri did the purification on Tengo. The thunder was very strong, it felt like it was the time of Noah.
I had been with them for almost a quarter and I feel like my mornings and evenings are not complete without spending time with them most especially Tengo and Aomame. I am never really the type who checks out reviews of books before I start reading them, probably because I prefer to have reactions that are natural and not being influenced by any other point of view. But this one’s surprisingly thick, I had to know if it’s gonna be worth it at the time. The reactions were mixed, some find it nice, some don’t. It was fifty-fifty that it made me more interested so it had become my next read after Sparks’ The Best Of Me.
It is divided into three parts: Book 1 (April-June), Book 2 (July-September) and Book 3 (October-December). The way Murakami served the beginning of the story is distinctively different from the novels that I have previously read which kept me still. It starts flat and slowly progresses as I flip through the pages, stirring my imagination.
I pictured every scene in my head, like a movie. I found it cool that the chapters were written alternately, after Aomame’s comes Tengo’s, then Aomame, then Tengo. Aomame, Tengo. It’s interesting because Murakami was able to pull that pattern off. Some writers dedicate one section for a certain character and one for the other, (for example: Chapter 1-10 *insert character here* Chapter 11-20 *insert character here*) some make the characters visible all throughout. I’m not suggesting though that Murakami’s style is the best, writers have their own way of writing and really it’s how the story is presented. It just amused me that it had not confused me, not at all, not even once. The chapters do not seem like they are linked to one another but in the end they really are. Endings to every chapter are neat and clean, some closure might not be certain but it would always make me feel like there’s nothing missing and I am assured that the answers are in the next ones. I mean, even if some mysteries are not revealed now I know that they would not be overlooked and forgotten to be discussed.
Another thing that impressed me is how he was able to display that the reader who is thinking is able to get that the character is thinking of another character who is thinking too. Like a matryoshka doll — it is a book within a book — a series of loops, twisting and turning but stays untangled.
One of my favorites in the story is the relationship between Aomame and the dowager. It’s inspiring and uplifting that women are empowered and that not all need rescue. Even if they do, it doesn’t have to come from men, in fact, some might actually need to get rescued from men. Technically speaking, their business transactions are against the law, but digging the principles behind provides justification. I might just refer to this whenever white lies are necessary.
Tamaru’s presence had also been an essential to the entire story. At first, he’s just a plain character but he did so well when all the hiding began. It’s like, everything is secured with him and that no harm will come so long as he is there. I was holding real tight as I get close to the end because I was afraid something might happen to him. But his being a real professional was sustained up to the last and given that he is a pro, the revelation that he is gay was surprising. I felt like he had a secret admiration for Aomame but in truth, she’s like a BFF to him.
I find it weird though that Tengo could tell if it is Komatsu who is calling by the way his telephone is ringing. Yes the part that Komatsu calls in the middle of the night is a valid basis but just by the ringing itself is just too good to be true.
I like Tengo but his being mad at his father is unreasonable for me. I understand where he is coming from but at the age of thirty, thinking that way — being nostalgic about not being able to play around during childhood — is immature. He could have thought that doing rounds whole day and everyday to collect subscription fees for NHK isn’t easy, being always with his father and actually witnessing it should have made him understand. To feel bad about it is normal (until secondary school or tertiary maybe) but until his father became sick was harsh. He did forgive but if only he did it earlier his father could have known. I was so touched when the lawyer handed that envelope (containing all Tengo’s report cards and citations and their family picture) to Tengo and to me, it was the most precious thing in the novel.
The descriptions about Tokyo were so vivid (like how vivid the image of Tengo’s mother being with another guy who’s not his father is) that I felt I was there too, crossing the pedestrian lanes. I have heard most of the cities mentioned in the book just for the first time, and I have never became oblivious about them even if they sound a little special a.k.a. not easy to remember. It was cool being able to tour around and Murakami did a very great job in being a tourist guide.
Overall, I would recommend 1Q84 if you’re looking for your next read. It might be thick but it is worth the time. Also, you might not want to wonder forever why is it called 1Q84 and why is the site you’re currently at called as such.