Book Ten in 2012 – “1Q84” by Haruki Murakami

I downloaded this book because it had been one of the staff picks from Audible. I also downloaded it because it was long and I love long audio books. I’m not sure what to say about this book beyond the fact that it was long haha!

It took me about a month to read which is good since it got me through until my next Audible credit came in. “Gone With The Wind” was just as long but the two books obviously were nothing alike and I’d read TWTW again. I don’t think I’d read “1Q84” again, which is rare for me. Most books I buy, I’d read again.

I didn’t care for the narration of this book either. It had three different narraters, two males and a female for the female lead. Her voice really got on my nerves and it sounded to me like she should be reading for elementary school kids, which just didn’t go with some of the content, like murder and promiscuous sex. They also combined the male and female narrators within a chapter, something I’ve often wondered why they don’t do. Usually if there’s a male and female narrator, they’ll only narrate entire chapters. In “1Q84” at the end, the two narrated their characters within the same chapter and it just didn’t work. Narration can really make or break a book, so maybe the narration is what broke this one for me.

It was translated from Japanese to English by two different translators to make the publishing go faster. I didn’t know this until the end of the book, where there is an interview with the two translators. I have to wonder if this had an effect on the book as well, since one thing stood out to me hugely when listening to the end of the book.

It turns out one man translated the first two portions of the book, and the other did the last.

Whatever it might have been, the narration or the two different translators, I was just disappointed. The book started out pretty cool but it went on and on in several places, so much so that I thought, how did this get passed the editors?

The best part of it was the joke I made with Amanda when we were on Skype and there was a funny noise. I said it was the little people, the little people being a pretty big part of “1Q84”.

Unfortunately, a lot was left not concluded in my opinion. I finished the book days ago and there have been several times I’ve wondered how such and such turned out or what happened to so and so.

Apparently Haruki Murakami is a highly regarded author in Japan. After “1Q84” I’m not sure I’ll try anything else by him, though maybe because of “1Q84” I’ll try something else by him haha.

2012 Audio Book List (all unabridged):

1. “IT” – Stephen King – Began end of 2011, finished 1/4/12

2. “The Concrete Blonde” – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/9/12

3. “Under the Dome” – Stephen King – Finished 1/22/12

4. “The Black Echo” (Bosch #1) – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/24/12

5. “The Black Ice” (Bosch #2) – Michael Connelly – Finished 1/27/12

6.* “The Concrete Blonde” (Bosch #3) – Michael Connelly – Finished 2/2/12

7. “Stories I Only Tell My Friends” – Rob Lowe – Finished 2/6/12

8.** “So Yesterday” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 2/10/12

9.** “Peeps” – Scott Westerfeld – Finished 2/15/12

10. “1Q84” – Haruki Murakami – Finished 3/12/12

*Audio book previously listened to.
** Audio book previously listened to multiple times.


Filed under 2012 Book List, Audio books

5 Responses to Book Ten in 2012 – “1Q84” by Haruki Murakami

  1. AHHHH! The little people! They love our Skype calls! I’m sad this book wasn’t as good as you were hoping. I admit I was a bit leery of it because of it being originally written in Japanese. Lots of things get lost in translation, and somethings that are funny, serious, suspenseful, or anything else in 1 language may not translate into another language. I do hope you find a better book this time around!

  2. Ro

    I don’t think it was the translation. The translators even talked about the myth that things get lost in translation haha. I think it was just the kind of book and the style. And there really was just a lot of rather meaningless background stuff. It was just too long, and coming from me that’s staying something. I’m reading something I’ve read before now, but I read it in print back in the day.

  3. I can almost imagine it, one of those cool seeming books, but at the middle it gets all drole, an pointleass.
    Most of the times, I hate when audiobooks have more than one narrator.
    Nice advice, I wont read it lol:)

  4. chris

    I’ve long been a lurker and as a fellow blindie have found your blog to be very interesting, especially your love of baseball (though I’m an Orioles fan) and about guide dogs (I’ve often considered getting one, but never have). Anyways, strange that this is the post that inspired me to comment, but having read the book on audible as well, I feel the same way as you did. It was such a long book to get through and then it just feels like it came to a sudden end, leaving a lot hanging. As a Murakami fan, this book really disappointed me.

  5. Ro

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for commenting! I’m glad I was able to publish the comment, because Blogger had changed my emails so I couldn’t, but now it’s back. Did you have to solve a CAPTCHA? I’ve heard rumors that the new Blogger is putting those back up for comment posting.

    So you would recommend his books? I shouldn’t base my opinion on “1Q84”? I had such high hopes for this book after reading a review of it.

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