The year is 1984. Aomame sits in a taxi on the expressway in Tokyo.
Her work is not the kind which can be discussed in public but she is in a hurry to carry out an assignment and, with the traffic at a stand-still, the driver proposes a solution. She agrees, but as a result of her actions starts to feel increasingly detached from the real world. She has been on a top-secret mission, and her next job will lead her to encounter the apparently superhuman founder of a religious cult.
Meanwhile, Tengo is leading a nondescript life but wishes to become a writer. He inadvertently becomes involved in a strange affair surrounding a literary prize to which a mysterious seventeen-year-old girl has submitted her remarkable first novel. It seems to be based on her own experiences and moves readers in unusual ways. Can her story really be true?
Aomame and Tengo's stories influence one another, at times by accident and at times intentionally, as the two come closer and closer to intertwining. As 1Q84 accelerates towards its conclusion, both are pursued by persons and forces they do not know and cannot understand. As they begin to decipher more about the strange world into which they have slipped, so they sense their destinies converging. What they cannot know is whether they will find one another before they are themselves found.
1Q84 is a magnificent and fully-imagined work of fiction - a thriller, a love-story and a mind-bending ode to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. It is a world from which the reader emerges stunned and altered.
Murakami's magnum opus Japan Times 1Q84 has a range and sophistication that surpasses anything else in his oeuvre. It is his most achieved novel; an epic in which form and content are neatly aligned... So like Murakami himself, I'll borrow from Orwell: 1Q84 is quite simply doubleplusgood Independent on Sunday 1Q84 reads like a cross between Stieg Larsson and Roberto Bolano... In its bones, this novel is a thriller Daily Telegraph Eerie, suspenseful and packed full of gorgeous ordinary details and provocative extraordinary events, Murakami takes weighty themes and delivers a compulsive tale that is funny, fresh and intensely surreal. Unmissable. Marie Claire It is a work of maddening brilliance and gripping originality, deceptively casual in style, but vibrating with wit, intellect and ambition The Times