opens with the heroine stuck in a taxi on an expressway, halted by a traffic jam. To get to an important appointment, she follows the driver's suggestion and leaves the cab to reach a nearby subway station on foot. As she exits, he tells her, "...[Y]ou're about to do something out of the ordinary... and after you do something like that, the everyday look of things might seem to change a little... But don't let appearances fool you. There's always only one reality." That ominous sentence is Murakami's way of saying to his readers, "Buckle up! It's going to be a wild ride!" And the book lives up to this promise as readers are led deeper and deeper into the world of 1Q84, where "the boundary between the real world and the imaginary one has grown obscure."
I've been asked by many, "What's 1Q84
about?" Unfortunately it's nearly impossible to answer that...
Beyond the Book
Most of Haruki Murakami's novels reference Western music, and 1Q84
is no exception. Czech composer Leo Janáček's symphonic poem Sinfonietta
features prominently throughout.
Leo Janáček (1854-1928) was born in Hukvaldy, Moravia, in what was once known as the Austrian Empire. He is considered one of the early Czech nationalist composers, following in the footsteps of Bedřich Smetana and Antonin Dvořák (with whom he was close friends).
Most of his work has its roots in Slavic folk music, although his style is celebrated as highly original. His first compositions...