Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Patiently Waiting for IQ84

always murakami

Old Murakami book on my desk.

After five long years, Haruki Murakami is releasing a new book, 1Q84. I first learned it from Dylan during the weekend and so immediately after that, I ran a literature search on the internet about it.

Here are what I have learned:

  • There’s a quite a hush on the release of this new book. Publisher said it’s a market strategy.
  • The new book is said to be a hefty one at “least twice the size of Kafka on the Shore.”
  • The English will be released in two volumes around 1,055 in page count.
  • Murakami interview described the new book as a “real doorstop”.
  • Although it’s already out in Japan, there’s no official English release date yet.
  • Like many of his previous works, 1Q84 is a complex and surreal narrative. It shifts back and forth between tales of two characters, a man and a woman, who are searching for each other. Through their thoughts and experiences, which include murder and historical references, the book explores social and emotional issues such as cult religion, violence, family ties and love.

There are lots of speculations surrounding about this book. The title itself is assumed to have been homage to Orwell’s 1984. Since the number 9 in Japanese is pronounced “kyuu” like the "letter Q". Or a talk that it might be a play off of Chinese novelist Lu Xun’s novel, "The True Story of Ah Q". The "number 1 in the title could stand for the pronoun “I” so that it should read something like “I am Q”.

I should have said that I wasn't quite satisfied with his latest, "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" which I could relate to because running is close to my heart and the book is a homage to a Raymond Carver's book which I read prior to Murakami's and was quite happy about it. But one thing remains. I am a HUGE FAN of Murakami, so like any loyal fan that I am, no amount of speculation can ruin my anticipation and urge to read one more of his books.

photo courtesy of guardian.co.uk

Murakami's latest, 1Q84 is now released in Japan.

photo courtesy of guardian.co.uk



Sidney said...

You made me discover Murakami... I almost read all his books now...not his latest since I am not into running...
I like 50% of his novels... so I am not really a huge fan... just a fan lang..;-)

my gulch said...

50% is a good number. and i am glad i made you read his works. i often recommend him to friends and the feedbacks are always mix. and those that i was able to influence thanked me for it.

19Q4 seems like on the same level as that of Hardboiled Wonderland and Kafka on the Shore so I am quite excited about it.

pieterbie said...

ok, great, thanks for the tip, must place this on my reading list.

Samuel D Steinberg said...

Read it over the summer after I bought it on a vacation in Japan. Excellent piece of writing, very readable, a page turner even at over 1,000 pages. Vintage Murakami.

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