I finally finished the 1300 page monster 1Q84 and am glad its over. This is a markedly different experience from a different very long book I read this year that left me physically aching for more at the end of it.
IQ84 is interesting, weird, creepy at times, creative and has some nice imagery, but it just goes on and on and on. There are large numbers of pages devoted to describing characters cooking dinner, brushing their teeth, taking baths, looking into shop windows, walking down streets, getting dressed, getting undressed, making coffee, cleaning house, and so on. I wonder if this book was written at the height of Marukami’s popularity and his editor was afraid to confront him, or something, because it is in desperate need of cleaning up.
The worst part is he doesn’t do anything with all these pages. The story still doesn’t make any sense in the end. It’s nonsense. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World was the same way, so maybe that is just Marukami’s style: pulling random stuff out of thin air and damn the sense of it. These stories both dealt with dual worlds, and characters that were connected across worlds as well. I wonder if he can write anything else… I’m not sure I have the patience to find out.