Nominated by:

Münchner Stadtbibliothek, Munich, Germany

Stadtbüchereien Düsseldorf, Germany

Limerick City Library, Ireland

Cape Town Central Library, South Africa

Boston Public Library, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Alfred A. Knopf, USA

Harvill Secker, UK


Haruki Murakami      

Translated from the original Japanese by Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel

2013 Shortlist

A mesmerising, epic, utterly involving masterpiece from Haruki Murakami

The year is 1984. Aomame sits in a taxi on the expressway in Tokyo.

Her work is not the kind which can be discussed in public but she is in a hurry to carry out an assignment and, with the traffic at a stand-still, the driver proposes a solution. She agrees, but as a result of her actions starts to feel increasingly detached from the real world. She has been on a top-secret mission, and her next job will lead her to encounter the apparently superhuman founder of a religious cult.

Meanwhile, Tengo is leading a nondescript life but wishes to become a writer. He inadvertently becomes involved in a strange affair surrounding a literary prize to which a mysterious seventeen-year-old girl has submitted her remarkable first novel. It seems to be based on her own experiences and moves readers in unusual ways. Can her story really be true?

Aomame and Tengo’s stories influence one another, at times by accident and at times intentionally, as the two come closer and closer to intertwining. As 1Q84 accelerates towards its conclusion, both are pursued by persons and forces they do not know and cannot understand. As they begin to decipher more about the strange world into which they have slipped, so they sense their destinies converging. What they cannot know is whether they will find one another before they are themselves found.

1Q84 (The Complete Trilogy) is a magnificent and fully-imagined work of fiction – a thriller, a love-story and a mind-bending ode to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is a world from which the reader emerges stunned and altered.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. He is the author of many novels as well as short stories and non-fiction. His works include Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, After Dark and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. His work has been translated into more than forty languages, and the most recent of his many international honours is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J.M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V.S. Naipaul.

Librarians’ Comments

The novel is lyrical and the originality of Murakami’s ideas, his creativity and the way in which he makes the odd seem normal is astonishing. 1Q84 is a gripping, intelligent and unusual read with characters and situations that fascinate and challenge the reader.

Murakami’s 1Q84 manages to be many things: a surreal fantasy; a mystery; a love story; and a historic novel. 1Q84 is large in both size and scope, it is about all of the complexities that make up contemporary Japanese society, but could also be about any modern, industrialized nation. It is both confusing and compelling, and ultimately a novel that few readers will ever forget.

Murakami takes us into a world that exists and doesn’t exist at the time. For the reader the difference doesn’t matter. It is the deep insight into the human soul that Murakami opens up to us in a non comparable, fantastic way.

Both thriller and moving love story, with reality and fantasy merging in a stunning way.

1Q84 is a hugely ambitious book, but one that delivers. A novel of true skill that interweaves two lives and parallel worlds.

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