Okay, April was tough. I only finished book from the challenge this month.
But I did a bit of reading for three other titles! I was asked to moderate an author panel at The Odyssey Bookshop, featuring Nova Ren Suma (The Walls Around Us), Lance Rubin (Denton Little’s Deathdate), and Tommy Wallach (We All Looked Up). I did my best to make dents in each of the books to get a strong sense of their stories and themes… and I really enjoyed each of them! Despite each of the books dealing with dark topics like death, our panel was lively and in high spirits. And, I must say, the authors were all adorable. It has been one of my favorite panels — I hope we cross paths again, guys! (BEA?? :D)
The Good: I’ve always enjoyed Murakami’s work. Ever since I read Sputnik Sweetheart during my freshman year of college, there’s been this odd connection I felt. I realized how Murakami’s work had inspired an anime I had watched in high school (Haibane Renmei, for anyone interested). Since then, I’ve collected several of Murakami’s other books, and though I’m looking forward to reading them one day, I may take a break after this one. 1Q84 is about… well… how can I describe this? I enjoyed the characters. I appreciate Murakami’s splitting of the book into three volumes. The overall story was interesting… Hmm…
So… Can I just skimp and say that I liked it in general?
The Bad: Too long. Now I know why some of my friends preferred reading the book in three separate volumes. I listened to the audio as I typically do, and I couldn’t believe how long it took me to get through! I felt like certain parts of the story were drawn out unnecessarily, but then other areas could have been developed more. Perhaps it’s more of an editing problem? This book could have (should have?) been reduced by at least a third… There was quite a bit of repetition. As with other Murakami books, I feel like many of his themes are waaay over my head. Two moons? Little people? And wtf is an air chrysalis, anyway? I just wanted to read more and more about the Cat Town, the Dowager, and Tamaru.
In the end, while I enjoyed it, I had different expectations for 1Q84. To be fair, perhaps if it didn’t take me as long to get through, I may have appreciated the book more. I knew I had to finish it before beginning something else… and now it’s done! Whew!