Saturday, June 22, 2013


Apparently I have been pronouncing this book wrong for the last year. I have been saying IQ84 and not 1Q84. Now, an IQ of 84 is not good. Its sometimes called a dull normal. Also, it took me an equally long time to figure out that the Q is a cute homonym for the Japanese word, kyu, which means nine. Now, why am I beating myself up for this, you ask? I took Japanese in college. I do a Japanese martial art. Dammit! I am not a dull normal! But the cleverness doesn't stop there, no 1Q84 is set in 1984 and heavily references George Orwell's 1984. This thing is mega-meta. There is a lot of weird sex stuff, which is typical Murakami. The Japanese word for boobs is chichi. I think Murakami had a post-it note on his computer monitor when he wrote this, that said: "Write something every day, but first, chichi." 

In this story, Aomame is a mysterious, petite woman who can kick ass, despite being Chairman of the itty-bitty-titty-committee. Tengo, a smart, but otherwise dull normal man gets embroiled in Aomame's mystery but his part in the story involves a sixteen-year old girl with giant boobs. You should know that the sixteen-year old is a semi literate, semi mute, petite hot chick. Think a savant-sex doll. Creeped out yet? Some of the characters in 1Q84 don't even have names. They are referred to only by their haircuts: ponytail, buzz cut, bowl cut (aka "weight line") and The Rachel. Ok, I made some of those up. 

Murakami isn't for everyone. Its slipstream, which means, is this the real world or am I losing my mind?  Also, I would not read this as your first Murakami.  Its 925 pages but feels like 1125.  The plot moves slooooowly. The sex stuff is creeeeepy. But, is there anyone that writes like Murakami? And this is a translation. He is a genius.  Weird as hell, but a genius.    

Drinks:  Aomame drinks Cutty Sark at a bar while trying to get men to have sex with her. While I've never had Cutty Sark, I've always though it seemed cheap and nasty.  Unacceptable for Scotch. 
In this book, the moon is a prominent plot point, so I am suggesting a Blue Moon Cocktail:  2 oz gin, 1/2 oz lemon juice, and 1/4 ounce creme de violette. One of my favorite cocktails is a variation on this called an Aviation. Same recipe, but add 1/2 oz maraschino liqueur.  It is fantastic.  For fun, you call that one, I don't know, a Two Moon Cocktail...just for kicks. 

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