Monday, January 30, 2012

Hard to put down, hard to like: IQ84

Haruki Murakami is one of my favorite authors, so I was very excited to read IQ84 as my first book of 2012.  At nearly 1,000 pages it is a behemoth of a book, and yet, not epic.  When I read such a large book, I usually expect that it will be a multi-generational sweeping tale with detailed descriptions and intricate story lines.  Yet, here Murakami focuses on a few characters within landscapes (both real and surreal, of course, as Murakami usually does), that feel sparse and cold.  IQ84 is very readable, and for that reason I found it hard to put down.  One the other hand, I found the ending very lackluster.  All in all, if you haven't read Murakami I would suggest starting with Norwegian Wood (soon to be released as a movie) and Kafka on the Shore.  As The New York Times wrote recently, Murakami certainly does have a "fierce imagination," and that is what makes him such a widely read author with almost a cult following, but for me, there was not enough to grab on to emotionally with IQ84.

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