Yes, yes, unfortunately this post will be one of a grumbly and slightly short nature as I feel utterly poo this evening. I love winter in many ways; atmospheric Christmas markets and music, jugs of gluwein and cold; crisp weather is right up my street. Any excuse to don an unflattering Christmas jumper or woolly mooflar and curl up in front of the fire (read: radiator) with a good novel makes this time of the year just perfect for bookworms like myself.
HOWEVER, runny noses, flaky hands and sore ears doth not a Merry Christmas make and this is how I feel today:
Bah. My chagrin has not been helped by the fact that, after spending 15 squids (that’s with £5 off!) on 1Q84 in a moment of complete madness and excitement, I have been left feeling, well, rather indifferent to Haruki Murakami’s new mega-novel; a harsh dose of reality that really did hit me where it hurts as I usually adore everything he writes, the obscurer the better.
So indifferent have I felt (indifference being a state far worse than love or hate in my mind) that I have actually closed this after only reading Book one, making the executive decision to abandon ship at an appropriate juncture and perhaps revisit, or even reread completely at a later date when the mood is right. The entire process of buying this book pointed towards this sorry conclusion from the very beginning. First of all, I hardly ever buy hardback books (unless they are of the coffee-table, rare or vintage variety). They are too large and cumbersome for me to read and maul in the way to which I’m accustomed, meaning that they end up as a strictly-for-bedtime book, to be read in short, unsatisfactory bursts using my poor boyfriend as a book rest. Not sexy.
In an attempt to remain the consummate professional to the very end, I refuse to review this novel (and I will read all three eventually, just to make sure) until I have given it a fair whack, I will just go as far as to say that I have been left feeling deeply unsatisfied. I have found Book one of this trilogy to be predictable, sluggish and well, rather vacuous. If I read another scene about a 20/30 something Japanese man/woman at the fringe of society sitting in a trendy bar sipping Cutty Sark whisky I might just shove my head through a window…
Yes, my ears are sore and therefore this damning commentary on Murakami’s latest bestseller may well be one that is completely unfair and thoroughly uneducated. A fellow Tweeter very astutely commented that this a very large piece of fiction all together and this may be why I’ve been disappointed at what I’ve found to be lacking in the first section. Perhaps she’s right.
The sheer physical size of this book also means that, for the first time since my library binges as a teen, I have had two books on the go at the same time, reading Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White on the bus to work which, whilst being perfect to read in conjunction as it is so completely different from 1Q84, has also potentially eclipsed it. I have been sucked into this classic far more quickly and have found it a much more enjoyable read than this brand new bestseller.
So ladies and gents, the conclusion today leaves us with this: Classics: 1 Hyped up piffle: 0. Hurrah!