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domenica 19 febbraio 2012


Last night I finished reading 1Q84, book 3. The web is already full of interesting reviews and guidelines, so this post is simply meant as a sketch of my thoughts and feelings about this rich novel by one of my favourite writers. And those who haven't read the book shouldn't read this post. :)

So, here are my impressions about 1Q84, just as they freely pop up in my mind (I've been ill for some days now, my back is aching badly and writing leisurely is a compromise between writing a proper review and not writing at all, because I wanted to write as soon as possible after reading the book).

I read book 1 and 2 in Italian, enjoyed them so much I ordered book 3 in English so I would have it ready to read. Book 3 is going to be published in Italian in almost a year, and waiting that long was out of the question. I got a feeling of "disconnection" between the end of book 2 and the beginning of book 3, and I think the Italian translation sounds much better. Of course I have no idea how the original sounds, and that's an enormous pity (I have a Japanese course book but it will take quite a long while before I can read a novel....). So I was somehow taken aback by this feeling and I couldn't get into book 3 as eagarly as I had expected.

I was a little disappointed that, after cherishing each other for 20 years and feeding their love on a single, strong memory, Tengo and Aomame met through Tamaru's intervention. It felt less magic. I missed the melancholic and so beautiful atmosphere of Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. That world stays forever, time passes and after reading many other books I still feel it with same intensity. To my personal experience, 1Q84 felt complex, perfectly elaborated and constructed, but weaker than hard-boiled Wonderland or Kafka on the Shore. The very first book I read by Murakami was South of the Border, west of the Sun, a book I loved when I first read it as a teenager and that I read and loved many more times and still love now at 30. That is quintessential Murakami for me, and wonderful writing. Though there are no different worlds in the technical sense of the expression, there are actually two worlds: the life we live, and the life we might have lived, and meeting a particular person can make these two delicate worlds collide and none of them will ever be the same again. They will be both filled with a melancholic love, a nostalgia for lost treasures that is so painful and can change the colours and shades of living. In 1Q84 I missed this feeling that I often (always) found and loved in his books, and that made me feel at home in his books. I liked the Cat Town story very much, and the time Tengo spent by his father's side. If this were the first book I read by Murakami, I would probably think it's simply wonderful, but having read almost all his other books I can't help making comparisons and realizing I liked other novels more, in many ways. I also have to say that I liked book 1 and 2 much more than book 3. Book 1 and 2 were hard to close, I just couldn't stop reading, no matter how late at night it was and how early I had to get up in the morning. In book 3 this eagerness was much faded, and this fact certainly lowered my general feeling about the book. So I can say I liked book 1 and 2 very much, almost as much as some of his previous novels, and I liked book 3 less, and I don't don't know how much of this depends on the translation.

These were just quick impressions. When I feel better I will write a proper review....

2 commenti:

  1. I agree with you. I also think that 1Q84 should be open ended. I wish that Murakami would leave the question whether Aomame and Tengo could meet to reader's imagination.

  2. thank you for your comment. Yes, I truly wish the ending were different, and leaving the question open about Aomame and Tengo meeting would have made it much more "appropriate", you are right.
    Now I've started A Wild Sheep Chase.