Wednesday, July 01, 2009

1Q84

I've picked up a copy of Haruki Murakami's newest novel, 1Q84. There was quite a buzz when this book came out a little over a month ago (5/29), despite the fact that the author has made it a point not to divulge much information about the book. The cover itself has no synopsis or teaser on the back or inside cover. He has told people that many wished they could've read one of his more famous previous works, Kafka on the Shore, without knowing what it was about, and thus is giving readers that opportunity this time around. This makes it sound like there might be nice twist in there somewhere, but as the first of the 2 volumes already released is 500 pages and the story doesn't end in the 2nd volume, it might take me a while to get to it!

Besides all the hype surrounding this book, what caught my attention was the title, obviously referring to the classic work of George Orwell, 1984. In Japanese 'Q' is the pronunciation of '9', and a friend of mine who marathoned the book (1,000 pages in a weekend!!) tells me that he does indeed refer to the Orwell book a few times. In respect of the author's request I haven't looked up any real details, except I did see a one-sentence description on the wiki page:
1Q84 is described as a "complex and surreal narrative" which "shifts back and forth between tales of two characters, a man and a woman, who are searching for each other." The themes consist of murder, history, cult religion, violence, family ties and love.
As this book isn't slated for translation into English anytime soon I figure it wouldn't be too bad to share. Also since this keeps most everyone that would be reading this from picking it up, I'm considering giving away the story here as I go through the book... assuming it's good enough for me to get through.

By the way, for any of those that do read Japanese I highly recommend the works of a certain Kotaro Isaka (Japanese only). Unfortunately I don't believe any of his work has been translated up to this point, but as a few of his books have been made into movies already one can hope, right?!?

Chapter summaries:
Chapter 1

1 comment:

* ENOLAMAI * said...

can you PLEASE put this on ur list of translation projects?? k,thanks.