College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Liberal Arts Matters

Because Ideas Matter...

The faculty and staff of Butler University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences presents

Recommended Readings

IQ84 1Q84

by Haruki Murakami, Knopf, 2011

Reviewed by Eloise Sureau-Hale

The day is going as usual, nothing particular has changed but in the sky, there are two moons side by side, one big and yellow, one smaller and green. You have entered 1Q84, a universe slightly off. You are not in the year 1984 anymore; you have veered into a different universe with Q as "question mark". Once in this world, there is no going back.

This is what happened to Aomame and Tengo, two people whose fate is more intertwined than they could ever imagine. In order for Aomame and Tengo to meet and fulfill their purpose, 1Q84 will put in the two main characters' path the young Fukaeri, author of the Air Chrysalis, a novel whose sole existence will unleash the fury of the Little People. In 1Q84, they also encounter Leader, the head of a powerful yet extremely secret sect whose relation with those mysterious Little People seems to be more than a mere acquaintance.  

As the two separate stories of Aomame and Tengo slowly come together, the reader's conception of reality gets more and more tampered with. Deeply philosophical and metaphysical, dealing with predetermination and the illusion of reality among other themes, 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami is one of those novels that leave its audience pondering about life and the universe. It will even appeal to those in dire need of a beautiful love story. An interesting mix between Kafka's Metamorphosis, Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, and George Orwell's 1984 to name just a few, this novel cannot leave the reader unmoved.

- Eloise Sureau-Hale is Associate Professor of French at Butler University.