"Its 1Q84 now. The air has changed, the scene has changed. I have to adapt to this world-with-a-question-mark as soon as I can. Like an animal released into a new forest. In order to protect myself and survive, I have to learn the riles of this place and adapt myself to them."
Wow. What a book. Having just finished this masterpiece, I feel like I have completed a mental marathon. This work by Murakami is exhausting, ingenious and transcends the art of story telling. While this piece of literature may not be for everybody, it will go down as one of my favorite reads of all time. Words do little justice to describe the overwhelming feeling you get when you are into the book, or rather sucked into its vortex. Too be honest, I am not even sure how to sum up what I just read. But there in lies the magic of this story. This is a book about possibility. And how a human being could possibly dream up the web of details that create this story, is beyond beyond.
The bones of this book are structured around a lost relationship between the two main protagonists, Tengo and Aomame. Set in Japan in 1984, these two characters lead completely ambiguous lives apart from each other. Tengo is an aspiring novelist, Aomame an aspiring assassin. The two were once classmates in elementary school and have been separated for some twenty years, when a series of events begins sets in motion the process of their lives crashing back into one another. Young Tengo is asked to ghostwrite a fairy tale that reveals a little too much about a insidiously secret religious group and Aomame is assigned the task of dispatching the leader of the same group. Their lives are coincidentally thrown upside down and what they believed to be reality is now changed forever. Once the dust settles, they are no longer in the year 1984 (Murakami's homage to another one of my favorites) but rather in the year IQ84, where anything is possible. I can't say enough about how much I loved this book. It is epic, poetic, sexy, hypnagogic and truly an engaging work of art. This book is a must addition to any library and it something that you will not easily forget. It is more that just a love story, it is an experience. Domo arigato sensai Murakami, domo arigato.