18: 1Q84

Oh So very behind on the reading and writing about what i’m reading thing. I have to read 17 more books by January 15th to make the year! There are a few books that i’ve never finished but still counted it as a week but there were also weeks where i read two so it evens out i think….

my room is crazy cold right now ;_; I don’t know why or maybe just my hand is crazy cold.

anyways.

I finally finished this behemoth of a Murakami novel, 3 volumes in 1, the American version anyway.

I am planning to write about this book, or at least I had wanted to, maybe I won’t, for one of my grad school applications cause we have to….write about a book…

First impressions weren’t good, the whole time I felt like I read this before. I’ve read several of Murakami’s previous works and its so similar in some ways that he’s just literally regurgitating what he’s written before. But as I read more the plot developed more but like every other time, I cannot attach myself to any of his characters…

also here’s something else that i realized, he hates ugly people!

Maybe I’m wrong but the name ushikawa was used in the Wind up Bird Chronicles, and that character acted as some sort of a devious informant. It’s very interesting in the chapters that were labeled Ushikawa that he himself knew of his ugliness. Literally and I mean very literally, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes it’s not about the height of your cheekbones or the length of your eyelashes but confidence, charisma that attracts people to you, or not to you. Models are beautiful naturally, but if she didn’t stand up straight and pout her lips like she could have you because she could, you might feel differently about her. And why does she look like that? It’s her freaking job to look good. And in general, we love beautiful people, it can’t be helped.

So ushikawa’s strange shaped head, general perverseness was keenly described in this novel as well as WUBC. I feel like Murakami has something against someone named Ushikawa.

Now about the characters….

They are the same person. when have you or me in this instance, ever read about a Murakami character that wasn’t neat? that didn’t do the dishes right after they cooked? That didn’t dressed in perfectly wrinkle-free clothes? The ladies were fine and classy, they were armani and ferragamo, they were fashionable and confident yet often stirred into this horrendous, weird-sexed world.

Also, if I have to read about the swelling of a young girl’s chest ONE MORE TIME! I’ve never noticed how rare it is that pubic hair is described in a novel until I’ve read how often it is described in Murakami’s books, WISPY WISPY?

It’s an interesting story, but in the end it lead me to a disappointing end. They got off easy, people died for them and they just sorta ended up together with a baby?

You could say that love transcends all time and beliefs, it transcends space and flesh but really? This many people died so you guys could get together at the end and have a kid?

It was some what anticlimatic and too convenient of a way to end the novel.

I was really disappointed that he chose this route.

What I realized is that for this kind of weird shit not to happen to you it’s better to lead a messy life. If it’s too clean and neat you’re going to get screwed and start seeing 2 moons in the sky. Just not have your life together, don’t iron your clothes, don’t have the ability to cook a meal from ingredients from your fridge, eat out more often and stay away opportunities that seem to good to be true. That’s the general consensus that i got from his novels, don’t be that awesomely well-read jazzy-listening person, and these kind of things will steer clear of you, because you won’t be able to pull out philosophical references from your ass, and you’ll seem too stupid to be apart of something so grand and schematic.

I don’t know that much about the world, and whether these things exist or not is beyond me, and i hope it never happens to me.

That being said, I do have some quotes…

page 229 Then he sat in a kitchen chair and drank his beer in silence while staring at the calendar on the wall. It was a free calendar from the bank containing photos of Mount Fuji. Tengo had never climbed Mount Fuji. He had never gone to the top of Tokyo Tower, either, or to the roof of a skyscraper. He had never been interested in high places. He wondered why not. Maybe it was because he had lived his whole life looking at the ground.

page 248 All I can do is live the life I have. I can’t trade it in for a new one. However strange and misshapen it might be, this is it for the gene carrier that is me.

page 257 “Robbing people of their actual history is the same as robbing them of part of themselves. It’s a crime.”

this one is personal, WWII, nanjing, Japan you better keep on remembering.

page 313 Tamaru met Aomame at the front door, wearing a dark summer suit, white shirt, and solid-color tie. There was not a drop of sweat on him. Aomame always found it mysterious that such a big man did not sweat on even the hottest summer days.

this is an example of what i mean by being too clean, how can a large man in the middle of summer just not sweat? why are his characters so flawed in that sense? Sweating makes you weak?

page 332 Friends? Tengo wondered – out of pure curiosity – what kind of person would want to be this man’s friend.

why i can’t like this character Tengo, he’s so full of himself? arrogance is alright in books but don’t make him out to be some kind of a saint that deserves a supernatural reunification with his classmate from 20 years ago.

page 570 The driver hummed the first few bars of the theme song. Then he looked in the mirror for another close look at Aomame.
“come to think of it, miss, something about you reminds me of Faye Dunway.”
“Thank you,” Aomame said, struggling somewhat to hide the smile that formed around her lips.

you can charm an assassin with a compliment apparently

582 “I can’t say that things are going all that well for the moment, but if possible I’d like to make my living by writing – not just rewriting somebody else’s work but writing what I want to write, the way I want to write it. Writing – and especially fiction writing – is well suited to my personality, I think. It’s good to have something you want to do, and now I finally have it. Nothing of mine has ever been published with my name on it, but that ought to happen soon enough. I’m really not a bad writer, if I do say so myself. at least one editor gives me some credit for my talent. I’m not worried on that front.”

for myself…..

616 “I don’t think I’m lonely,” Aomame declared. She said this half to Tamaru, and half to herself. “I’m all alone, but I’m not lonely.”

639 Aomame didn’t find it painful to be shut away, living a monotonous, solitary existence. she got up everyday at six thirty and had a simple breakfast. Then she would spend an hour or so doing laundry, ironing, or mopping the floor. For an hour and a half in the morning she used the equipment Tamaru had obtained for her to do a strenuou workout. As a fitness instructor she was well versed in how much stimulation all the various muscles needed every day – how much exercise was just right, and how much was excessive.

the following passage is from Murakami’s interview with the paris Review

When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at four a.m. and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for ten kilometers or swim for fifteen hundred meters (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at nine p.m. I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind. But to hold to such repetition for so long—six months to a year—requires a good amount of mental and physical strength. In that sense, writing a long novel is like survival training. Physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity.

Here’s another thing, whether poor or rich, all of the protagonists always had someone of power and wealth behind them. They never had anything to worry about. For me, I do not want supernatural things to happen to me but if you wanted to be intrigued by another world, you can’t! unless you’re wealthy or knew someone wealthy that could just make things happen for you….

that’s another reason i dont’ like this characters, they always have a way of getting out of things…

hmm

but this book caught my interest because it’s about a guy that writes and a novel that gains acclaim…

i read anything and everything about the act of writing these days…that’s how i was able to finish this bloated novel…very bloated, i feel like this novel could be written in 600 pages rather than 900

there was a huge amount of repetition especially near the end…
actual recount of things that had already happened from another character’s point of view….

sigh

but anyways

i would give it…

a B- for grade… i liked it more than Wind Up Bird Chronicle, less intriguing than Kafka on the Shore…

Posted: November 20th, 2011
Categories: 52 weeks, BOOKS
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