November 11th, 2013

Dead Dog Cat

(no subject)

This last weekend I also finished Osprey Men-at-Arms #225: The Royal Air Force 1939 – 45. Now, I've gotten used to these books having a fair amount of information about the units they cover and where they fought; this one is almost completely about their uniforms and little else. Not my favorite book in the world, I'm afraid.
kitty, reading

Books #39-40

Books #39-40: I will be counting "1Q84" by Haruki Murakami as 3 books for my list. It was originally released in three volumes and runs to nearly 1,200 pages. I'm listening to it as an audiobook, and I'm done with the first two volumes and nearly finished with Part 3.

The book's title is a fairly obvious allusion to the book "1984" by George Orwell, but aside from common themes, the books don't have a whole lot in common. Most of the story is told from the viewpoint of two Japanese characters living in the year 1984: Tengo and Aomame. They were friends briefly in grade school but haven't seen each other since then when our book opens in 1984 and the characters are now each around 30. I've seen the book described as being about two people trying to find each other across time and space, and I guess that's all I'll say, since I don't want to give any major spoilers. Some might find the book slow. Murakami goes back and tells the same stories from the characters lives over and over, adding layers of detail each time. I believe this is intentional and relates directly to its shared theme with "1984" - that of "re-writing history." Other shared themes are television and its impact on culture, crimes being committed for "the greater good," and the Cult of Personality. Despite this slow pace, when a scene is supposed to be tense and gripping, it is. Murakami knows what he's doing.

One side effect of reading a story this long is that you really get sucked into that world. I feel like I have been living in a world slightly askew ever since I started listening to the audiobook a couple months ago. I really like the readers for this book, and its been a pleasure.

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