Quick and simple review
This is the first Murakami book I’ve read, so I can’t compare it to his other, more praise worthy books. I will also say giving this four out of five stars is a bit of a stretch, but overall I did like the book enough.
The story was quite interesting and for the most part, I really enjoyed Muarakami’s writing style. I’m the type that enjoys the minute details of a characters daily lives so this style of writing would probably be more tedious and boring to some. For me, the details were great. I also enjoyed how every other chapter was from a different characters perspective. It made for a unique read.
Now there are two main common complaints I’ve read from other reviews: the length of the book, and the repetition of details.
The length didn’t bother me as it is actually 3 books in one volume. I will say though that there are a few chapters that were not needed. It’s almost as if they were put in just for padding and reminders of what happened in the previous books.
It was the repetitive nature that did start to get on my nerves after a while and nearly made me give it three stars. Many paragraphs were just unneeded.
That problem aside, I still found the story flowed pretty well and was enjoyable to read. I never felt rushed to finish it and took my time. I think it took me 3 weeks or so to finish while I read other stories and wrote my own work throughout. The ending was also done well enough and I think people are far too critical of this book.
I’m interested to read Murakami’s other, and supposedly much better books in the future. I say avoid the naysayers and do what I did, download a sample of 1Q84 and see if it’s the right style of book for you before buying it.
A final thought: I think if he was able to condense this story down to 500 or so pages and did away with the repetition, it would be a five-star read.