Sunday, November 23, 2014

IQ84 by Haruki Murakami

IQ84 by Haruki Murakami
What a rambling and strange novel by Japanese master Haruki Murakami. I don’t think I really liked it, but I did struggle through all 946 pages.

Two Japanese loners find themselves in the alternate reality of IQ84, a world where there are two moons in the sky. The title of the novel is a play on Orwell’s, 1984, sort of. But this doesn’t really carry through the plotting or analogy of the novel except in the most olblique ways. IQ84 has no tyrannical government, though there is a sinister cult, and some supernatural/metaphysical elements emerge eventually.

The novel is such a mighty tome that the translated English version cannot seem to quite hit a consistent tone. I suspect there was much linguistic byplay and punnery in the original Japanese, some of which seems like it is trying to peek through now and again. But I didn’t find myself delighted by the language very often. (Though there is a three page sequence describing getting kicked in the balls that I remember being impressed by.)

Overall, I may just not be smart enough to be down with Murakami. I know that he is spoken of with great reverence and has many disciples. But this is the second time now that I’ve really fought my way through a strange and seemingly endless book and been left just kinda scratching my chin and wondering what it all meant.

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