First, I want to remind people that may not know, that Defying Gravity by author Cherie Reich is FREE all day today if you have an e-reader. Please click here to find out how to get yourself a copy.
I just recently finished book two of 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.
I talked about book one in this post here.
In this particular novel a dowager (wealthy woman) hired Aomame to kill the head of a religious cult. His name was Leader. The dowager pointed out to Aomame that this man is guilty of raping pre-pubescent girls. As an empowered woman, Aomame felt that she could kill this man and avoid the justice system altogether which might be pre-disposed (because of the role of men in society) to treat this man kinder than he deserved. The only thing is, when she went to do the deed, she discovered that the Leader was IN FACT the victim in all of this sexual abuse from a cult that followed him. The man was in tremendous pain, was being raped while he was in a catatonic state as a devotion to the gods they believed in (called the Little People) and he wanted to die.
So she performs the most troubling assassination of her life.
As usual, the book is chock full of memorable quotes that make me think Murakami is a profound philosopher and not just a writer.
Additionally, Murakami includes a short story in his novel called the Town of Cats. This in itself is an accomplishment. I've seen other writers like Patrick Dilloway, who incorporate short stories into the greater length of their novel to illustrate a theme.
My post on Patrick Dilloway's book Where You Belong, is located Here.
|The genius Haruki Murakami|
I do put it on the same level as Murakami's writing. Only Murakami does not write literary fiction. But Murakami was up for a Nobel Prize and did sell a million of his books in Japan.
If you would like to read Town of Cats, I will embed the link here to the New Yorker excerpt. To give you some background on it, one of the main characters goes to visit his father in a nursing home. He reads the "Town of Cats". This story is about a man who comes to a city that is deserted. But by night, it is occupied by intelligent speaking cats. Think "dogs playing poker" and you've got the image. But they smell the human amongst them and go searching for him. The man hides from the cats and evades them until daylight when the cats all leave. Later, he finds that he cannot escape because the train no longer stops there to pick any passengers up. So he is stuck in the town of cats.
This story is an allegory of 1Q84 which is a reflection of the real world 1984. However, there are subtle differences. The sky has two moons. The Little People are gods. And Aomame will never meet her true love as long as she remains in 1Q84. But the way out of 1Q84 back to 1984 is no longer an option. That way is closed.
Murakami says through one of his characters, "Once you pass a certain age, life becomes nothing more than a process of continual loss. Things that are important to your life begin to slip out of your grasp, one after another, like a comb losing teeth. Your physical strength, your hopes, your dreams, your ideals, your convictions, all meaning, or, then again, the people you love: one by one, they fade away."Maybe that's the purpose of life. To learn to cope and accept loss and to be thankful for the things that we do not lose. Maybe it is (like Aomame) to accept the fact that we cannot always get what we want and that the way home may be barred. Maybe Murakami is saying that it is just as important to find meaning in a world where we are alone among cats. What do you think?