Saturday, May 30, 2009

Haruki Murakami "1Q84"

1Q84 Book11Q84 Book2

Spoiler Warning: I didn't reveal the essence / the ending of this story on this entry, but write about some parts of this story. If you want to read Murakami's latest work without any advance knowledge, I recommend you to leave this entry.

For non-natives of Japanese: In Japanese, the pronunciation of "9" is the same of "Q". Why "1Q84?" not "1984"? After you read this book, you'll find the meaning.

In 1984, Tokyo. Aomame (female), nearly thirty years old, is an instructor at a luxury sports club. She also has another job requiring "expertise and training". Having done the job, she gets out of a taxi on a heavily-congested Metropolitan Expressway, and begins to walk towards the emergency stairway to the ground.
Tengo (male), nearly thirty years old, is a math teacher of a prep school and sometimes submits his novels into contests for new novelists. An editor he knows approaches him to rewrite a prodigious novel "Air pupa" which was wrote by a female senior high school student.

[My impression]
Like other Haruki Murakami's full-length novels, this work made me to want to discuss it with other people who have read this novel. As usual, he never explains to readers the meaning of the curious and heart-swaying story. It is open to interpretation, depending on us. Yes, I understand that many people think that his works don't need interpretation but impression. In both case, I want to ask and tell readers "What do you think about the events / the sentences of "1Q84"?"

Compared to other Murakami's works, this book mentioned many groups that has clear real models (for instance, Jehovah's Witnesses(Wikipedia) and The Yamagishi Association (a agriculture commune) ) and concrete place-names appeared. That adds to the realism and shows up unreal aspects of this story. However, his new style of camera-eye describing which was apparent in "After Dark" isn't found. I think that this work doesn't show Murakami's new frontier - for example, new describing style or new composition of a story, etc. This work is the successor of "Kafka on the Shore" due to the same styles of using two main characters.

Needless to say, for me, this novel is incredible excellent for being a unpredictably page-turner story, simple and wonderful appropriate metaphors, and sentences which has good rhythm and are easy to read. Such Murakami's work's brilliant characteristics have not diminished yet over time. Through fifteen hours of reading, I never felt boredom but felt seamless stimulation. I feel it is difficult to find such novels.

Nonetheless, I am not satisfied with one point. I anticipated his answer to events in this novel: violence to females and kids (not only physically but also mental). Ordinary, a story has a beginning and an ending. However, I feel that this work has a beginning but doesn't have the ending of the events. (This is my feeling, maybe other people have other feelings.) Due to this point and other points (I refrain to explain them in detail now), I think this novel have not completed. There is possibility to release the sequel in future, I anticipate.

Above all, I want to discuss this Murakami's latest work – How do you think / feel about the events / the sentences? When is the English version released?

Friday, May 01, 2009

Top tunes on my iPod in April, 2009

1. Ryuichi Sakamoto / behind the mask (live_2009_3_28)
2. Ryuichi Sakamoto / to stanford
3. Paul McCartney / Don't Get Around Much Anymore
4. Ryuichi Sakamoto / ice
5. Yellow Magic Orchestra / Behind The Mask
6. Ryuichi Sakamoto / disko
7. Ryuichi Sakamoto / glacier
8. The Beatles / Here, There And Everywhere
9. The Beatles / For No One
10. Ryuichi Sakamoto / +33 (live_2009_3_28)
11. Elvis Costello / No Action
12. The Beatles / Taxman
13. The Beatles / Eleanor Rigby
14. The Beatles / She Said She Said
15. The Beatles / And Your Bird Can Sing
16. The Beatles / I Want To Tell You

1. is the live version that I listened to admiringly for its unique arrange which is different to the original that I loved from the start. This tune was released on iTunes Store the day after the concert, I think the world is getting better. 5. is the original of 1., it was pulled up in this ranking because I found its attraction again by 1.

3. became to one of my heavy rotations since my friend played it on his iPod at a Japanese hotel of Izu. Paul McCartney's talent made the tune transformed from Duke Ellintong's jazz standard to a cheerful rock'n roll number.

8. to 16. (except 10. and 11.) are obviously the consequences of reading "Here, There and Everywhere" by Geoff Emerick. Revolver is a great album, I admit it time and again.

I always listen to the drum line of 11. mainly even its melody also good. The drummer, Pete Thomas, may be my most favorite drummer because of his drumming like singing.