Author : Haruki Murakami ISBN : 0307593312 Publisher : Knopf

Haruki Murakami, the renowned Japanese writer and translator who has been awarded the Jerusalem Prize and Franz Kafka Prize for his previous works, is out with yet another resplendent fiction called 1Q84, which has in fact surprised its readers like his other books.

Year 1984, Tokyo: Aomame is in a taxi, on her way to see one of her clients. In order to escape the heavy traffic and avoid any delays, she follows the cabdriver's suggestion, walks to the elevated expressway and descends down to the street below using an emergency ladder, only to find that she has entered an enigmatic world, entirely new to her understanding. She calls the parallel existence as 1Q84, where 'Q' stands for question.

In the meantime in the mystical new world, Tengo, a math teacher and an aspiring writer gladly agrees to take on a ghostwriting project for a young literary competition, where his editor proposes to him to silently rewrite the work of a 17-year old ghost writer, whose work has inspired those who've been reading it. He becomes so engrossed in the work that he becomes a spectator of the taking apart of his previously balanced life. And so it begins, an enigmatic journey of the merging of Aomame and Tengo's lives, characterized by a series of casts that include a beautiful, dyslexic young girl with an extraordinary vision; a secretive religious crew that had its influence in a shootout with the metropolitan police; a repulsively structured private investigator; a reclusive dowager, wealthy enough to run a shelter for abused women; her bodyguard, good-natured yet fiercely efficient; and an unusually demanding door-to-door television fee collector.

Haruki does it again, he steals the show with utmost convenience. 1Q84 takes form of a mesmerizing excursion through a vibrant miscellany of captivating experiences. The narration overwhelms the readers' perception, the plot unmarred. This book is a conglomeration of aggression, vengeance, love, loyalty, violence, malformed lust, and tragedy, which brings into light the deformities of the human mind and its tendency to become enchanted by eye-catching delusions.

The title says it all - query, confusion, enigma. Reaching out for the unknown and borrowing random elements from its core to put together a unique picturesque for the readers to take in marks the brilliance of Haruki's envisage. This is it, his most progressive fiction, a true marvel that speaks the mind's power to create, to envision that which is beyond the existent (common to most perceptions). What's the essence of the story you ask? Binding of the random, the happening; the fastening of all the loose fragments in a chaotic terrain, physical as well as transcendental, into a completed puzzle. Why is it that every time the pieces fit, the one experiencing the merging is bewildered? Why is it amusing at nascent, even as we know that that is the way it is supposed to be? Ever wondered? If not, this book will baffle you to such an extent that you start developing immunity to surprises as you seek unanimity in contradictions.

Nhut Pham

Nhut Pham

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