Monday, December 19, 2011

Links to 1Q84 articles and reviews, seems it was a flop?

This is an article from The Atlantic, talking about the book, calling it 2011's 'biggest literary letdown.'

This is a kinder one from The Guardian. This mentions too the way he writes sex scenes about as dispassionately (or passionately?) as the way he writes about food preparation. It also hits the nail on the head when it describes the scene in the playground when Aomame and Tengo reunite as moving. I agree.

New York Times. Scathing.

Washington Post - positive. The writer says that a reader will be glad to have all three volumes in one hardbound book because that's all you'll want to do, read it, until the end. Oh yes.

The Independent. Mixed'ish.

But perhaps the best paragraph is from the review above, in The Independent:

Murakami really does stand alone, as much a "foreign element" as his heroes: a sport, an outlier, sui generis, inimitable, if often imitated. Which other author can remind you simultaneously of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and JK Rowling, not merely within the same chapter but on the same page? Viewed through the "postmodern" lens, his exemplary blend of a light touch and weighty themes, of high literature and popular entertainment, ticks every box. Posh and pop, sublimity and superficiality, history and fantasy, trash and transcendence: they switch positions and then fuse as the metaphysical speculations of an Ivan Karamazov meet the death-defying adventures of a Harry Potter.

*

I wonder if the reviewers who bag it just can't let themselves enjoy a book that has Little People that come out of a dead goat's mouth, two moons and time slippage. Is it beneath them? Not 'serious' enough? I wonder if they like surreal art or is that ridiculous and silly? I wonder if reviewers are divided into those who bag and those who don't. Is it a case of desire for rigor smothering any possible positives? Who cares.

A couple have mentioned the Stieg Larsson Millennium series (the Girl and Dragon Tattoo or whatever) I also at times thought of that, but this book is so, so much better. I read the three Elisbeth Salander books, the first was readable, but books 2 and 3 were tedious and so forgettable. Nothing about 1Q84 will be forgettable I don't think (apart from the the details of daily stuff like cooking, brushing teeth, dealing with hair, and the sex scenes.)

5 comments:

Melba said...

More links

http://www.tor.com/blogs/2011/11/genre-in-the-mainstream-murakami-1q84

Nomination for bad sex scene award

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/nov/25/haruki-murakami-bad-sex-award

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