1Q84 (1Q84 #1-3)

Apparently not, judging by the far-too-few reviews that sum up my feelings towards this nothing of a book. One of my favourite lines from one of my favourite of these few reviews is as follows, from theatlantic.com: “It’s hard to believe that some of the critics praising 1Q84 didn’t really feel, at times, like throwing the book in the air and walking away. Trying to say anything definite about it is like trying to nail Jell-O to a wall. (Even the title’s allusion to Orwell seems vague. It’s an elaborate puzzle… which, when assembled, adds up to a picture of a perfect blank. For me, reading it was the literary equivalent of biting into a large, pumped-up soufflé. After finishing five pounds of book, I was still hungry — for a novel.”

The only difference between this critic’s view of the book and mine is that I remain unable to finish the damn thing.

Putting the nothingness of the book aside, there are plenty of other, more frustrating issues to contend with.

These are a few of the problems I personally had with 1Q84:

Aomame comes across as a flat, two-dimensional character whose main purpose is to serve as (an older male) fantasy. Within a few pages of meeting her, she experiences flashbacks of a detailed lesbian encounter she experienced with a friend, though she is not, in fact lesbian, bi-sexual, in the slightest bit attracted to woman. This would not be an issue if it appeared to serve any purpose towards her character development – but it doesn’t. Instead, it begins to follow the pornographic trend of girl-on-girl sex for the sole purpose of pleasing men. Literally, Aomame and the other woman have sex for NO other reason then to attract the men they have picked up. (To clarify again – Aomame doesn’t particularly want to have sex with the other woman at all.) This (sterotypically) male “fantasy” further continues as the reader is told countless times how she is attracted only to much older men with receding hairlines, and proceeds to detail each of these sexual encounters. There is nothing wrong with any of the aforementioned as it stands, to each their own, and it would not be a problem if it served a purpose to the story but as far as I’m aware so far it really doesn’t. The story would in no way be impacted if any of these scenes were to be removed. Aomame is in no way empowered by the depiction of her sex life, instead she is an object – a pornagraphic object, again apparently designed for the titillation of the reader.

If it’s in the best interest of the book in question, I am perfectly ok with reading about bigoted characters, or even books written by writers with an obvious agenda that clashes with my own beliefs, if the book is good, and provokes thought. all the female characters in this were written as fantasy – not just Aomame, but Every. Single. Woman. There is the “older married girlfriend” who serves no purpose other than to be a sexual object for Tengo (she doesn’t even have a name); there is the police woman who befriends Aomame and constantly wants sex with her though she is self-declared “completely straight” (and appears to serve no other purpose in the book – she isn’t grappling with her sexuality, this isn’t an exploration of multifaceted queerness or a critique of the heteronormative structures that this character exists within, she simply is there to have girl-on-girl sex without the complications of actual character development); and even with Fuka-Eri more attention was spent on the shape of her breasts than on her merits as a person or writer. It’s also been brought to my attention that there are many other instances of blatant misogyny that I have missed in the review: this is clearly not an exhaustive list (and I only got two thirds of the way through the book. Feel free to share thoughts below, that’s what the comment section is for).

Other books allow viewpoints such as this to be limited to the perspective of a character. The narrator in is attractive. A little unpleasant, yes, but it fits in with how his character progresses. He is largely respectful towards the girl in question and to the other women in the book, and is overall a rather sympathetic character. Hajime in 1Q84 goes so far beyond that, the sexism that permeates this entire story is not limited to character and is irredeemable.

Tengo is likeable to a point, but all his segments of the story are the most repetitive in the book, which is a constant source of frustration. Also – and likely because of this – he doesn’t really do much. He has a lot of sex with his older, married girlfriend (and we know that she is older and married because that statement appears to have taken the place of her name, appearing at least 5 times in every chapter about Tengo). I will also admit that I grew very, very weary of every conversation she had with Tengo being punctuated by lines such as “she said to him, massaging his scrotum in her hand.” As with Aomame’s segments, the sex all truly appears to serve no purpose, and is crudely written at that, meaning it all comes across as both needlessly pornographic, and incredibly boring, two things good writing – and good sex – should never be. When Tengo is not having dull sexual encounters with his older married girlfriend, he mostly wanders around not doing anything. This is described in detail, which I will admit is a fairly impressive feat considering he really isn’t doing anything.

Moments of this novel appear to hold onto a central plot, but it is so bogged down with mundane details along the lines of “Tengo got up, showered and dressed. Then he cooked his breakfast. He sat down to eat his breakfast, after which he wandered around the room for a while. After this, he made a phone call, wrote some of his book, made some rice and salad, and waited for his older married girlfriend to call. She didn’t call, so he went for a walk outside. His walk outside was long and went nowhere. While he was resting after his walk outside, Tengo read a book about the indigenous people of some country whose relevance is not made clear out loud and in minute and soporous detail so that the reader of THIS book can also experience the pedantic boredom of the book he was reading. After he had finished reading the book out loud and in minute detail, Tengo made dinner and went to bed. After he went to bed he couldn’t sleep, so he got up and wrote some more of his book, though he found writing at night to be difficult and not as good as writing in the day, even though in the day his older married girlfriend was sometimes a distraction to him and got jealous at anything that took attention away from her even though she was older and married and nameless and the married aspect of her life should probably have been enough of a distraction in itself for her to not be sleeping with someone else. But that was fine with Tengo because he liked sex with his older married girlfriend very much. He didn’t even mind that sex with his older married girlfriend was a sometimes a distraction from his writing work. As he wrote his book he thought about…” etc etc that it is near impossible to discern what is actually worth reading, rather than skimming over. I’m pretty sure that if all the moments of needless, boring repetition were removed, the novel would come well under the 500 page mark – but then the appalling details and lack of plot would have nothing to hide behind at all!

The characters reactions to everything were utterly implausible to me. Tengo and his editor are totally panicked about the idea of anyone finding out they re-wrote Air Chrysalis (the idea of co-writing or “editing” is completely out of the question) but Aomame isn’t even bothered by the fact that she is in a world that is not her own. She has essentially fallen into a parallel universe and her reaction to that is… actually, I’m not even sure if she reacted at all to this knowledge. She also freaks out when she holds a gun, but has no apparent qualms about killing a man with a needle. There are many, many other reactions that bothered me but I can’t think of them clearly enough to write about them – I think my mind has an innate defence against boredom that means I forget anything that has bored me to this degree.

The very worst part about this vapid 1000+ page novel, however, is that people who have finished the book tell me that nothing else happens!!!!! I can’t handle it, I really can’t. Perhaps if I’d come into this with lower expectations, I may have been less disappointed. It would have still been a terrible book, but I would feel less betrayed by this fact.

14/4/16: Final note: I have since read at least ten other books by Murakami (and counting), so I am 100% certain that my dislike of nothing to do with his “style” of writing. Many (most) of his other stories don’t exactly have… plots, or things that “happen” – a “point”, or concrete endings of any kind but they work. Some more than others, of course, but while I have adored many (Norwegian Wood,
I still stand by this review completely.
And yes, of course you are entitled to disagree entirely, but please do refrain from a) pointless insults that trivialise mental illnesses; b) grammatically incorrect complaints of my use of British English (as opposed to American English) spellings; c) personal attacks in general (these manage to be both rude and boring and hardly facilitate an interesting discussion)

1Q84 is undoubtedly the biggest literary let-down I have ever come across. The synopsis and plot outline sound fascinating, the reviews have been glowing – am I (trying to) read a different 1Q84 than everyone else?Apparently not, judging by the far-too-few reviews that sum up my feelings towards thisof a book. One of my favourite lines from one of my favourite of these few reviews is as follows, from theatlantic.com:The only difference between this critic’s view of the book and mine is that I remain unable to finish the damn thing.Putting theof the book aside, there are plenty of other, more frustrating issues to contend with.Aomame comes across as a flat, two-dimensional character whose main purpose is to serve as (an older male) fantasy. Within a few pages of meeting her, she experiences flashbacks of a detailed lesbian encounter she experienced with a friend, though she is not, in fact lesbian, bi-sexual, in the slightest bit attracted to woman. Thisif it appeared to serve any purpose towards her character development – but itInstead, it begins to follow the pornographic trend of girl-on-girl sex for the sole purpose of pleasing men. Literally, Aomame and the other woman have sex for NO other reason then to attract the men they have picked up. (To clarify again – Aomame doesn’t particularly want to have sex with the other woman) This (sterotypically) male “fantasy” further continues as the reader is told countless times how she is attracted only to much older men with receding hairlines, and proceeds to detail each of these sexual encounters. There is nothing wrong with any of the aforementioned as it stands, to each their own, and it would not be a problem if it served a purpose to the story but as far as I’m aware so farThe story would in no way be impacted if any of these scenes were to be removed. Aomame is in no way empowered by the depiction of her sex life, instead she is an object – a pornagraphic object, again apparently designed for the titillation of the reader.If it’s in the best interest of the book in question, I am perfectly ok with reading about bigoted characters, or even books written by writers with an obvious agenda that clashes with my own beliefs, 1Q84 is not one of these books. The blatant misogyny does not serve a purpose and therefore I must assume that it was not considered to be an issue at all for the purposes of the book. I honestly felt thatthe female characters in this were written as fantasy – not just Aomame, but Every. Single. Woman. There is the “older married girlfriend” who serves no purpose other than to be a sexual object for Tengo (she doesn’t even have a name); there is the police woman who befriends Aomame and constantly wants sex with her though she is self-declared “completely straight” (and appears to serve no other purpose in the book – she isn’t grappling with her sexuality, this isn’t an exploration of multifaceted queerness or a critique of the heteronormative structures that this character exists within, she simply is there to have girl-on-girl sex without the complications of actual character development); and even with Fuka-Eri more attention was spent on the shape of her breasts than on her merits as a person or writer. It’s also been brought to my attention that there are many other instances of blatant misogyny that I have missed in the review: this is clearly not an exhaustive list (and I only got two thirds of the way through the book. Feel free to share thoughts below, that’s what the comment section is for).Other books allow viewpoints such as this to be limited to the perspective of a character. The narrator in Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World muses on his attraction to an slightly overweight woman, and his surprise that sheattractive. A little unpleasant, yes, but it fits in with how his character progresses. He is largely respectful towards the girl in question and to the other women in the book, and is overall a rather sympathetic character. Hajime in South of the Border, West of the Sun is rather more unlikeable in this respect, with the way he treats the women in his life, but again this is part of the journey of his character.goes so far beyond that, the sexism that permeates this entire story is not limited to character and is irredeemable.Tengo is likeable to a point, but all his segments of the story are the most repetitive in the book, which is a constant source of frustration. Also – and likely because of this – he doesn’t really do much. He has a lot of sex with his older, married girlfriend (and we know that she is older and married because that statement appears to have taken the place of her name, appearing at least 5 times in every chapter about Tengo).As with Aomame’s segments, the sex all truly appears to serve no purpose, and is crudely written at that, meaning it all comes across as both needlessly pornographic, and incredibly boring, two things good writing – and good sex – should never be. When Tengo is not having dull sexual encounters with his older married girlfriend, he mostly wanders around not doing anything. This is described in detail, which I will admit is a fairly impressive feat considering heisn’t doingMoments of this novel appear to hold onto a central plot, but it is so bogged down with mundane detailsthat it is near impossible to discern what is actually worth reading, rather than skimming over. I’m pretty sure that if all the moments of needless, boring repetition were removed, the novel would come well under the 500 page mark – but then the appalling details and lack of plot would have nothing to hide behind at all!The characters reactions to everything were utterly implausible to me. Tengo and his editor are totally panicked about the idea of anyone finding out they re-wrote(the idea of co-writing or “editing” is completely out of the question) but Aomame isn’t even bothered by the fact that she is in a world that is not her own. She has essentially fallen into a parallel universe and her reaction to that is… actually, I’m not even sure if she reacted at all to this knowledge. She also freaks out when she holds a gun, but has no apparent qualms about killing a man with a needle. There are many, many other reactions that bothered me but I can’t think of them clearly enough to write about them – I think my mind has an innate defence against boredom that means I forget anything that has bored me to this degree.The very worst part about this vapid 1000+ page novel, however, is that people who have finished the book tell me that!!!!! I can’t handle it, I really can’t. Perhaps if I’d come into this with lower expectations, I may have been less disappointed. It would have still been a terrible book, but I would feel less betrayed by this fact.14/4/16: Final note: I have since read at least ten other books by Murakami (and counting), so I am 100% certain that my dislike of 1Q84 hasto do with his “style” of writing. Many (most) of his other stories don’t exactly have… plots, or things that “happen” – a “point”, or concrete endings of any kind but they. Some more than others, of course, but while I have adored many ( Sputnik Sweetheart Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage stand out at the top of the list) and found others somewhat less enjoyable ( South of the Border, West of the Sun ), none of his other works I have read are on the level of 1Q84 at all. I have also read many other books by other authors where “nothing” happens, and yet the work is utterly captivating.stand by this review completely.And yes, of course you are entitled to disagree entirely, but please do refrain from a) pointless insults that trivialise mental illnesses; b) grammatically incorrect complaints of my use of British English (as opposed to American English) spellings; c) personal attacks in general (these manage to be both rude and boring and hardly facilitate an interesting discussion)

Source: https://thangvi.com
Category: Thông tin

Leave a comment

Email của bạn sẽ không được hiển thị công khai. Các trường bắt buộc được đánh dấu *