Without a solid evidence for the following statement, I have concluded that Haruki Murakami is so far the most read contemporary author for the 21st century.
Although he was excelled by the worldly unknown Chinese author Mo Yan for this years Noble Prize in Literature, Murakami’s works have been translated into numerous languages and he has gained popularity among readers of all ages.
I still can not determine myself as Murakami’s fan, but certainly 1Q84 has settled an imprint somewhere in the abyss of my soul. I refer this to my continuous curiosity about the socially reclusive people in our society.
Ever since I was in elementary school I have made number of unsuccessful attempts to understand their worlds and I have learnt that it is close to impossible to break their shields and glimpse at their sacred universe.
I still remember this girl with low grades and shaggy hair, who would not speak to anyone, not even a teacher, and shortly after she joined our class became an object of bullying. Girls had no sympathy or interest in her and boys were merciless, sticking chewing gum on her hair, looting her belongings, mocking and provoking her to talk or cry. But she never did. She was expressionless and as confident in her class status as the moon in the sky. Two years later she moved to another school and from the bottom of my heart I hope she found better classmates there. I often wonder what happened to her and did she ever got away with all the cruelty she experienced in elementary school. Did she overcome the isolation and what was the reason for it.
That’s why I became so fond of 1Q84. Not only the two main characters, Aomame and Tengo share similar fate as my elementary school class mate, but the rest of the characters are also ‘lone wolves’ in their own way.
I admire Murakami’s love and inclination to write about the socially handicapped people, whose introvert lifestyle often throws them in the shade and conceals their existence. His meticulous depictions of their personalities illuminates the dark abyss of a whole unknown entity.
1Q84 starts with the parallel stories of Aomame and Tengo, who both imperceptibly enter another altered reality where bizarre range of events occur, devoid of any logical explanation. For Aomame this is the murky year of 1Q84 with too moons, Little People, Air Chrysalises and for Tengo this is the cat town which he has to leave “before the exit is blocked”. The entire time they are traveling to each other, following different paths, because this is the reality they are meant to meet in. The obstacles, the two of them are facing, turn the novel into a fast-paced mystical thriller that wont let you put it down.
At least that was the effect on me. I was sunken in the story and praised all the secret forces that made me come across this book (for some silly reason I am frightened of high-volume books, even though I have never been disappointed, yet I can not overcome the fear). However, there is one tedious moment between book II and book III that I had a hard time getting through, but besides that 1Q84 is a wonderful piece of literature.