Saturday, February 23, 2013


I don't write about literature or the books i'm reading nearly enough on this blog.  Recently that my be because i have spent awhile wading through Haruki Murakami's "1Q84," a long, dense, surreal tome about love and destiny in a world with two moons.  The novel follows two main characters in alternating chapters; Aomame, a personal trainer and assassin of awful men, and Tengo, a math teacher and aspiring writer who agrees to become a ghostwriter for a young girl's strange entry in a writing contest.  Her story is a fantasy involving "little people" who emerge from the mouth of a dead goat to create an air chrysalis as a cocoon for a doppelganger like being.  As the girl's story and the narrative of "1Q84" begin to merge, things get more and more surreal.

I've always likened Murakami's work as the literary equivalent of a David Lynch film.  There always seems to be something more under the surface of everything, while a general feeling of foreboding emits from every sentence and passage.  Narratives and story arcs are left open ended to leave the reader even more confounded.  To give it another cinematic comparison, think "Donnie Darko" before the director's cut and commentary that tried to explain everything came out.  Remember the first time you saw that movie, and when it ended, you were just left there sitting and blinking.  And you thought about it for days.  What did it mean?  What did it mean?  I dig that.  And like that movie, any book that keeps me thinking about it for a long while after i've finished reading it is one to keep prominently displayed on the shelf.

Murakami is an avid music lover, and it usually winds up in his work.  Below is a video of the BBC Symphony Orchestra performing the final movement of Janacek's "Sinfonietta," a piece that plays prominently into the novel.  Enjoy.

Now go read the book!


  1. I've always been curious about Murakami's work. I'm an avid reader and this post makes me want to run out and buy this book. Thank you for that.

  2. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Dance Dance Dance, and Norwegian Wood are all great places to start too.