So after almost a year since reading the first two parts of 1Q84, which I thoroughly enjoyed (see my Goodreads review for what I actually thought), I thought I would go back to Murakami and finally finish the series as I was absolutely pumped to see the narrative unravel and reveal the ending.
Unfortunately, the fear that I had in the first two parts came true in the third part and that was that the story would be dragged across three quite large parts unnecessarily and it would feel like a bit of trek. I definitely felt this when I was nearing the end of the third part and there were various other parts that began to make unenjoyable reading. The key reason for my disappointment in the novel was the constant reference to female genitalia, pubes, breasts and hair when just thinking about them or meeting them for the first time. It made me feel uncomfortable that the most important identifying factor of these women was the size of their breasts and the length of their hair. It started to become unbearable when previous sexual experiences (particularly of Tengo’s) were referenced when it was entirely inappropriate or unnecessary. I felt that the strangely evaded underage sex in the previous parts was something I would have to come to terms with and overcome but when it is constantly referenced graphically I really did not enjoy it at all. I think my main problem is that as a female reader I found it actually quite comedic and sigh-inducing to read of women’s genitalia and sexual behaviour in this last book because it wasn’t at all accurate and it really appealed to male reader’s fantasy and I would hope that it makes any female reader’s laugh.
Other than that, I was super invested in the plot because I love sci-fi/fantasy in any type of entertainment or media and the world created ‘1Q84’ was very interesting to me. I was actually quite satisfied with the way they closed the narrative and settled the world, even if there were many unanswered questions. But as I have mentioned the pesty references to sex was a complete distraction for me, I wish there was a version that was suitable for work and removed all the sex because then I would be absolutely in my element. It is not that I don’t enjoy eroticism and sex in books because who doesn’t? But I like it to be done interestingly and to an extent accurately.
Overall, I found the series quite enjoyable, the first two more than the concluding part, but not everything can be perfect and I am still really happy I have read them because it is my first series that I have finished and it is very satisfying. I would recommend that if you’re thinking of reading 1Q84 yourself then you should read them as close together as possible as I think I was perhaps less motivated to get through the last one because it had been so long since I had finished the first two.
I would probably rate the series 3/5 overall x