Salam alaykum =)
*this is a book review.
Last week I've bought a 2.15 inch translated version of International Bestseller Novel by Haruki Murakami, a Japanese writer.
Scroll for the picture here.
1Q84. 1157 pages (excluding the title, extra blank pages and credits and critics' acclaims about the novel). The face of a woman staring blankly as the front cover and face of a man staring blankly as the back cover. Was it really a blank stare? Well, perhaps. It's a pretty cover but often I got embarassed as if he/she is watching me (whoever faces upward would most likely stares at me) and end up piling it underneath my blanket or another book because I feel uneasy.
Although I've only read through 6 chapters only but the novel feels like a big lump in my head that I can't remove, neither hate nor love, neither burdening nor welcoming.
The story - as would have been expected from an internationally-recognised author - was vividly written, reinforce a strength in the thrilling plot. For me, everything up to now is thrilling. That explains why I can't put this book down.
It's a heavy novel. Not my usual type of novel. I often go for novels that are fit to be reproduce as Disney's movie or Nickelodeon's teen drama. I AM challenging myself now by reading this genre and specifically, this book, because as acclaimed by a famous novel critic "It's the kind of risky storytelling that writers of my generation are often too scared to try." And so it's quite risky for the readers too.
One. Though I've read only 94 pages so far, but the level of soft porn are slowly increasing. You know Japan. You know they're one of the countries that produces a lot of adult movies and hentai mangas. You know how open they are to sex. So is the writer. And I'm not. Not quite. Most of the scenes were story-told in clear detail, one can really imagine it like watching a movie, or experiencing it with one's own eyes. So do the sex part. Not all the process were told, thanks a lot. Though I can always skip that part but by doing so it feels like swimming without warming up. It feels incomplete. I may have cramps later. Because perhaps I'll lost some fundamental idea or a character's thought that may become important later on. But it is totally disturbing. For me only, perhaps, as I had never read heavier novels before. Is Olivia Joules and her Overactive Imagination a heavy novel? Because if it is, this is my second time then =)
Two. Every phase caught me up in my own world. And if I fell asleep while reading this book, I'll get nightmares. It feels surreal and enticing. Actually I have a hard time reading novels because I tend to re-read the previous pages to relate with the current page; and because I tend to READ literally. Pronouncing every catchy words here and there. But this one is different. I realize my heart beating anxiously - not rapidly, but more to beating cautiously - and I don't have time to look back or pronounce any catchy words. I need to get there, I think. What'll happen next, why is it so, what...what? The answer is nearby so I have to read quickly. Talk about mental disturbance here, hm?
Three. Because of the soft porn and sex-related narration, I can't stop myself to think that this is an inappropriate book for me to read. Shall I donate this book somewhere after I finished reading it later? The library perhaps? But then I have to tear that page where I've already write my name on. Or shall I just keep it on the bookshelf at home for old time sake? And let it rot for my grandchildren to discover. As I 'watch' Tengo's and Aomame's lives live in my mind's theater, these thoughts keep popping up and demand answers. But I can't decide yet. I need to finish reading this to know if it's worthy enough to keep it or leave it.
If you're so disturbed, why can't you stop reading it already?
I love books. I love well-written novels, so an international bestseller would catch my eye. And reading it is a pleasure and indulgence. I rarely put a book down once I read it for a good 3 chapters. It would be a great loss to put the book down because it will be hard to start reading again and I've spent some good sum of money for it.
If you ask me how well is this book, I give it 5 stars for the vivid explanations, 5 stars for the thrilling sensations it gave and 5 stars for the well-thought plot arrangements. But I would not recommend you to buy it and read it, if you're not used to reading heavy genres like this. However if you love books, with a hint of fantasy while being realistic, you can add this novel to your collection.
But I tell you, this isn't the type of book that you can read while waiting for your morning toast, during a light traffic jam, or before going to bed. For at least, you're going to need a good, undisturbed two hours. And peace in mind.