Whew! Finally closing in on it with July's book (And it's only August!)
True confession: I ended up listening to this one mostly via aBook because I knew I was never going to make the time to sit down and finish slogging through it. I am not a fan of this book, which is ironic because I may own more versions of it than any other book in my library. Wonder how? Let's break it down...
- Our first reference to reading this book together (via Subtext) was back in March 2012. Subtext required that the book be a Google Book, so I bought that version. I then discovered (as I was *boarding a flight*) that Google Books cannot be read offline (Is that still true?! Did I miss something and just failed to understand how to download the damned thing?!) so...
- I impulse-bought the Kindle version to read on the long flight. Didn't make it through it that time (of course) so...
- When I went to start it again for this TBR, I realized I could get a discount on the aBook because I had bought the Kindle eBook (which is actually kind of cool -- it tracks where you are, regardless of media, and picks up where you left off!) So I was able to listen to this during the day and read it in bed at night. Still... it's a 47 hour long aBook. I spent a *lot* of time with this book.
And now... for my "review" of 1Q84. Which I may or may not (but actually totally do) refer to as "Boobs and Pubes" in my head.
At the heart of it, it's a good story. It's a love story -- it's a little bit wacky, but overall, it's a good story about two kids who meet briefly in childhood and then spend of the rest of their lives trying to find one another again, each in their own way. There are some twists and turns along the way (including an alternate universe... interesting! Good!) and that -- the heart of this story, I really did like. However...
This book was originally released as three separate installments, and you can tell -- it could have used a serious re-edit once it was published as a single volume. There is a lot of re-visiting previous ground (which is great when you haven't read the preceding book in awhile, but not so great when you're reading it all in one go) and, in general, the story could just stand to be tightened up. So that was problematic. But... able to be handled. However. There was also...
Boobs and Pubes. UGH! Why there was so much reference to breasts and pubic hair in this book, I have no frigging idea. It was a g-d obsession. Quick little searchy-search here finds...
- Breasts: 77 results
- Nipples: 21 results
- Pubic hair: 21 results
There was hardly a mention of our heroine without a reference to the fact that she had small breasts and that one was slightly larger than the other. Jenny, I finished this book weeks ago and I still retain this information ... in my mind. You know how my mind is a sieve when it comes to books... and yet this I retain. Ugh!
Here is a small sampling of notes I made in this book:
"More unnecesary boob talk" on page 373. (At that point, I still had no idea how bad this was going to get!)
"W.T.F." In response to this quote: "It was like her pubic hair was a part of her thinking process."  (Seriously. W. T. Everloving. F.)
"Come ON." In response to the main female character (Aomame) reflecting on her two closest friends' deaths: "It saddened her to think that these women were forever gone from the world. And she mourned their lovely breasts -- breasts that had vanished without a trace." I just... don't... I can't. It's just... weird. And such a bummer -- the story is interesting and bizarre and great on its own. But all of this gratuitous boob and pube talk left a bad taste in my mouth.
In the end, I would not recommend this book, but I stand by my love for The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Don't waste your time with 1Q84 -- awkward to say the title out loud and super awkward to read, in any form.