Tag Archives: Stephen King

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami – Book Review (sort of)

Wow, I feel a bit overwhelmed.  Where do you start talking about Murakami’s epic fantastical love story, 1Q84? An analysis could go in any number of interesting directions,  including parallels to George Orwell’s 1984; possibly a further study of Murakami’s body of work as a whole looking at recurring themes; or the inevitability of true love; the significance of the moon as a symbol in literature; how ruined childhoods breed dysfunction;  a comparative study of the ruinous power of cults and religion; an exploration of the intersection of fiction with life and vice versa; the pervasive theme of violence against women in the novel; or perhaps an analysis of 1Q84‘s more fantastical elements including the notion of the  “cat town”, and the parallel two-mooned universe commanded by  “little people”.

And yet,  Murakami more than succeeds at bringing all these elements together in what is essentially a love story  between Aomame and Tengo who meet when they are children.   When Aomame takes Tengo’s hand and looks into his eyes, the power of pure love is unleashed in the two children that leaves them yearning for each other twenty years later.

As a child,  Aomame leaves her family, who are members of a rigid Christian cult. As an adult she is a fitness coach/ assassin who kills men who are abusive to their wives. Tengo,  is a child prodigy, who also leaves his father, a fanatical NHK bill collector, to become a writer and math teacher. Tengo – co-writes the book that creates the world they both enter, that ultimately tries to bring them together. But the almost mirror world to their own, differs in unknown and extremely dangerous ways for both of them. This novel sets pure love against a backdrop of a violent, dark, trickster world. And wow, did I ever love it. Both  1Q84 and Stephen King’s 11 12 63 are a real departure for me but I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. Highly recommended!

17 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews

Stephen King: 11 22 63 – Book Rave

I just finished reading my first Stephen King novel and what a great experience it has been. Truthfully I’m a slave to all things beautiful and there are so many exquisite moments captured with language that I remain and will forever be a devotee of the literary novel.

For many years I have scorned (well maybe not quite scorned) but was closed to other kinds of literary experiences (and really what’s that about?  I am the person after all, who spent almost all of my teenage years and early twenties ploughing through one Harlequin romance after the other interspersed with whatever naughty book I could get my hands on.

But back to Stephen King – I was lured into reading it because part of the book took place during the late 50’s which was close enough to the 60s ( my favourite decade of all time) to make me take a leap of faith. Plus it has a nifty time travel element that allows the reader (and the writer) to explore the kind of place America would be if  America’s favourite president of all time escaped assassination by Lee Harvey Oswald  –  and was saved by the time travelling protagonist of the book.

I don’t care if there isn’t a pretty sentence in this book (and there isn’t). This is a great read – and according to my Stephen King loving colleague – the book contains all the great elements of great King storytelling – a creepy little town, a teacher hero,  two little wiser than their years dancing kids and no doubt countless other similarities.

This book reads like a mountain of candy. I couldn’t put it down. It’s scary, it’s light, there’s a love story, an awesome time travel element, and King creates a great sense of place – particularly when our hero time travels back in time to 1958 to  save President Kennedy‘s life.

12 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews