I picked up 1Q84 around a year or so ago, and I never really got around to it until early this year. I knew the book itself was meaty and thick. What I didn’t know was what awaited me upon starting Chapter 1. It’s indeed a story that goes from 0 to 180 mph real quick, what with being thrust into heroine Aomame’s…unique profession.
Aomame is a woman who lives according to her own set of rules, and plays by those rules. We don’t know much about her in the beginning, but I’m such a sucker for strong female characters and liked her immediately–and yes, this includes her quirks. Through her side of the story we meet the Dowager, an old woman that Aomame often reports to; the Dowager’s servant, Tamaru; and near the end of book one, the mysterious girl Tsubasa.
On the other hand, we are also introduced to the male protagonist Tengo: a man in his 30s who is a cram school teacher by day, and fledgling writer by night. He lives his life in perfect order, or so he thinks. His wheel of mediocrity is shattered when his friend Komatsu, an editor, drops a manuscript for “Air Chrysalis” in his lap to be edited. This is Tengo’s first introduction to the mysterious girl Fuka-Eri, a smart, yet odd, seventeen-year-old girl.
While there were many secrets revealed in book one of this three-part mega-novel, there is obviously more to be seen, what with the sneaky suspicion I have about the two main characters. There’s the matter of Fuka-Eri as well as Tsubasa, also.
Note that I tried to keep myself from spoiling anything major about this novel, so I sincerely hope that those who pick this up enjoy it as much as I have. And for the record: Yes, this is the first Murakami novel that I’m reading. Yes, I do plan on picking up the rest of his works.