1Q84: On Love, Hope and Sacrifice
I’m currently reading 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, and am more than halfway through my mammoth of a tome that clocks in at 1157 pages (it’s a three-part book). While 1Q84 may make a Big Brother-like nod to George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, it is very much its own story arc, filled with strange creatures and fantastical scenarios that skirt on the tightrope dangling between reality and non-reality. After all, what is real and what is imaginary? How do you really know the difference? What stories do we harbor deep within ourselves that we only allow our inner psyches to access? What future situations could we have avoided or relished, if only we had made that decisive step toward action, rather than meander through life in a passive state? Can LOVE really be the religion that saves us, that gives us hope? What IS love? Do we each make up our own definition of it?
1Q84 reminds me a bit of a Choose Your Own Adventure book that I used to read as a kid. Each book in the Adventure series involves a story in which the reader takes on the identity of the main character. The reader, as the protagonist, is given a choice of scenarios, and, depending on his or her decision, the adventure will take a different turn. In 1Q84, each action or non-action made by the characters results in its own set of consequences: some intriguing, some devastating. Unleashing a ripple effect that cannot be so easily reverted. Always, the element of danger and surprise lurks beyond the corner of the page. Begging you to turn. Begging you to learn.
While some may read 1Q84 as simply an entertaining piece of fiction, life lessons can be gleaned from it. For one, the power of love as a source of strength and hope. Also, as found in the book: “To get something important, people have to pay a price. That’s the rule the world operates by.”
How about YOU, dear reader? What are you so passionate about that you would work your tail off to achieve? What would you sacrifice for, perhaps even lay down your life for?
I’ve long been a fan of Murakami, having read nine of his fiction novels and short stories, starting with the novel After Dark in 2008. I just haven’t gotten around to his two non-fiction books yet (one on Tokyo, the other on running, respectively), but I plan to eventually. I’m excited to see how this book ends!