Maybe 1Q84, Haruki Murakami

Let me start this with an epiphany: Rainy days are best with Weird Books.

Roughly 19 months after I received this beautiful hardcover of 1Q84 from my college professor, I unearthed my copy and settled in for the stormy long weekend. I picked up where I left off, the part where the Dowager was explaining the Sakigake to Aomame. I was a few pages shy off Volume Two, but I put it down because the whole cult and Little People backstory bored me. Heh, and I know that that was not an unpopular opinion. Because really, in the middle of it all, wasn’t 1Q84 was a love story between two lonely people?

Okay, maybe you would want virtually stone me to death, but I will be the first to admit that I may have finished the book and yet I have not fully grasped the dohta and maza narrative, because in retrospect, I thought that they played as good narrative devices to bring our protagonists together and to validate their loneliness.

OrmaybeitsbecauseIstillhaventreadGeorgeOrwells1984? AGH I AM EMBARRASSED, OKAY! Maybe I wasn’t its intended reader, because all the brilliance of the parallel, dystopian worlds that Murakami and Orwell created was lost on me, but I did think that it was a good Luv Story.

Right. About this book. Ehem. Did I think it needed to be the monstrosity of 965 pages to tell the otherwise haunting search for True Love? Like I said, I thought the Sakigake, the Little People, and the Dowager’s business made wonderful, pretty strong narrative devices, but the subplot [Dare I call it subplot?] was not as engaging as I wish it was.

But there I was, boring a Tin-shaped hole on my bed and reading through this book with a plot that just won’t freaking unravel (already!!) and I was actually enjoying it.

Maybe because I could identify best with Tengo because his life is a routine! And! I! love! routines! Murakami even took time to describe every minute detail of how Tengo went by his life and boy did I love it.

Tengo couldn’t sleep. Fuka-Eri was in his bed, wearing his pajamas, sound asleep. Tengo had made simple preparations for sleeping on the couch (no great imposition, since he often napped there), but he had felt not the slightest bit sleepy when he lay down, so he was writing his long novel at the kitchen table. The word processor was in the bedroom; he was using a ballpoint pen on a writing pad. This, too, was no great imposition. The word processor was undeniably more convenient for writing speed and for saving documents, but he loved the classic act of writing characters by hand on paper.

The monotony of Tengo’s life was a lullaby to me.

There was a distinct pang of sadness effected by the existence of such passive character. At least, Aomame sought a more active way to channel her loneliness. She had no friends, right, but by killing the male pigs of society, I think it’s safe to say that she, at least, was doing something. Tengo took the passive route by spending each day of his life rather than, you know, actually living it. Between our two protagonists, he wins the Lonelier Award and I love him even though his fictional existence breaks my heart.

Also, I love Tengo’s name because it is the Spanish translation of “I have.” This is classic over-reading, I know, but I thought it was a beautiful coincidence. Or maybe Murakami was poking fun at my intellect? instinct? my far-fetched imagination? Because I read that he likes Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s writing and, you know, Spanish connection. No? Still no? Damnit.

Heh, and then there’s Aomame whose name means beans. As my Prof pointed out, “I have beans.” *giggle giggle*

Did I like it? Of course I liked it, but maybe for the wrong reason. You know how one book may have sucked at the very core, but somehow you will find a piece of yourself in it, then you’ll slowly ease to it? Okay, that read an awful-like bad sex scene, which reminds me that this book has a lot of really, bad, awkward sex. Ehem. Again, well, 1Q84 grew on me. There’s the innuendo again! Sorry.

If kissing is this exquisite though…

Her partially open lips now opened wide, and her soft, fragrant tongue entered his mouth, where it began a relentless search for unformed words, for a secret code engraved there. Tengo’s own tongue responded unconsciously to this movement and soon their tongues were like two young snakes in a spring meadow, newly wakened from their hibernation and hungrily intertwining, each led on by the other’s scent.

Moving on. Right at that moment, it was the book that I needed. I was willing to look past the flaws and indulge in Murakami’s Made-Up World where cats, earlobes, and beautifully shaped breasts are abound. It was fascinating that no matter how surreal his universes are, I could jump right in the Surreal. As if, if I take a wrong turn in the connecting train lines in the metro, I could go out of Cubao Station and discover a sky with two moons. Or can I just meet Tengo? Heh.

Murakami has always had this magical pull when I read him. His type of Weird holds a special place in my heart, because, in an unfathomable reason, when Murakami paints me his world with a talking cat or this time, with two moons, I can suspend my reality just fine and wade through his brand of absurdity.

One problem I have always had with him though is that, after the grandiosity he creates, at the end he often leaves his reader hanging with a bigger question than what the reader had at the start. For that, I am grateful that 1Q84 broke away from his trend, and found its ending fitting to the story and our characters (but still baring that awful sex scene).

When he writes scenes with semblance of reality, they were beautiful. When *Spoiler Alert* Aomame and Tengo finally met, he painted such a beautiful image that seared into my head. I was with Tengo when he finally found the relief through the familiarity of Aomame’s hand. It was so good. I was drowning in the intensity of them Feelings!

He was suddenly aware of someone sitting beside him, holding his right hand. Like a small creature seeking warmth, a hand slipped inside the pocket of his leather jacket and clasped his large hand. By the time he became fully aware, it had already happened. Without any preface, the situation had jumped to the next stage. How strange, Tengo thought, his eyes still closed. How did this happen? At one point time was flowing along so slowly that he could barely stand it. Then suddenly it had leapt ahead, skipping whatever lay between.

This person held his big hand even tighter, as if to make sure he was really there. Long smooth fingers, with an underlying strength.

Also, siriusly,  writers making hand holding world shattering, life changing!!

1Q84, Haruki Murakami

Will I read it again? HAHAHA ARE YOU KIDDING ME

Let’s put it this way: This monster of a book holds a significant part of the god-awful phase in my life because it was with me then and it got me back to reading and blogging. But, you know, maybe I’ll give it another shot and look deeper into the story. Though that hand-holding up there and some of his Power Lines I missed because I couldn’t find my pen.

On another note, everyone is a-buzz with Murakami a favorite, again, for this year’s Nobel Prize for literature! Let’s see if his talking cats will claw their way to the top. HAHAHA I’m laughing at the lameness of my pun.

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