1Q84 Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of 1Q84

1Q84 tells the incredible story of Aomame and Tengo, a boy and a girl who experienced a perfect moment as children in a classroom, went on different ways but kept thinking of each other and somehow searching for each other ever since. Aomame is a beautiful young woman and she is stuck in traffic on her way to work. The taxi driver is an odd kind of guy that seems capable of reading people's minds. He tells her that she can descend some abrupt stairs, get off the motorway and be on her way in a couple of minutes if she is in a hurry. Aomame does just that and suddenly she feels that she in some sort of other dimension that is just a little bit different from the one that she just left. The year is 1984 and she calls the new world 1Q84 because she questions the reality of this new world she just got in.
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Tengo is a writer and a math teacher. He has some sort of recurring visions from his childhood in which his mother's breasts are being sucked by a stranger, a man that is not Tengo's father. Komatsu is Tengo's friend and he is an editor. He asks Tengo to rewrite a novel called Air Chrysalis. The author of this novel is a teenage girl named Fuka-Eri. Tengo meets Fuka-Eri and he notices that she is a very strange kind of person. She doesn't talk much and she pretends that The Little People, the characters from her novel, are very real. She invites him to meet The Professor, her guardian, and Tengo has a little chat with him. The professor tells Tengo that Fuka-Eri's parents were his friends a long time ago. He also mentions that they are now living in a compound named Sakigake and that they belong to a religious cult. He tells Tengo that Fuka-Eri showed up on his doorstep and that she was a very different child from the one that he knew. She was very serious a barely speaking like she was hiding a big, ugly secret.

Aomame notices that in her new world there are two moons in the sky every night. One is big and white and the other is a green, lopsided, smallish moon. She also notices that the policemen wear a new, heavier, different kind of gun that she doesn't remember. Aomame teaches self defense classes and she also works for an old, rich woman called The Dowager. The Dowager taught Aomame how to kill bad men with a simple needle that is inserted directly into the brain and leaves no trace. The Dowager also dedicates her time and money to helping abused women and she builds a special house to keep these women away from their abusive husbands. One day Aomame is told that in the house is a little girl named Tsubasa. The girl was horrible raped by a man named The Leader. The Dowager tells Aomame that she must kill The Leader.

Fuka-Eri's novel is published and the people like it very much even if they don't quite understand it. Tengo and Fuka-Eri become somehow close because she chooses to live with him for a while. Tengo tells Fuka-Eri about his lost childhood friend Aomame and she tells him that she lives in the neighborhood but that she is in hiding. Tengo is amazed by Fuka-Eri's knowledge but he believes her because she is such a strange person. Tengo is also amazed by the two moons that he sees in the sky every night.

Aomame goes to the Sakigake compound as a masseuse. The Leader is in horrible pain and he needs a deep tissue massage. They talk for a while and The Leader tells Aomame that he wants to be killed and that he knows who she is what she does for a living. She kills The Leader and she moves into a remote apartment because she is afraid that the leader's followers will kill her for what she did.

Aomame stays inside her apartment for months and she reads Air Chrysalis. She sees Tengo in the park one night but he disappears just before she can reach him.

Tengo leaves Tokyo for a few weeks because his father is dying and he must take care of him. Aomame waits for his return and she spends hours on her small balcony watching the playground and the two moons.

One night she sees Tengo in the park watching intently at the moons and she understands that he can see the two strange apparitions too. She goes out and they meet and hold hands for a while. Aomame packs her bags and they go to the point where it all started, the abrupt stairs on the motorway.

Aomame and Tengo climb the stairs and they are back in 1984. The go to a hotel and they plan their lifetime together.
Best part of story, including ending: This is a very complex story that spreads over more than a thousand pages. I liked it because it was in essence a love story. I felt Aomame and Tengo's longing for each other and I was not quite sure that they were going to be together in the end. The story is full of suspense and it keeps you interested until the last page. I highly recommend it because Murakami creates some beautiful, intricate plots that twist and turn and demand your total attention.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene is the one where Aomame and Tengo finally meet again. They don't feel the need to talk and just hold hands for a long time. You can feel their love and you get a huge feeling of satisfaction that after so much reading you can finally breath and feel relieved.

Opinion about the main character: I liked both Aomame and Tengo. I liked their determination to overcome the obstacles and find each other.

The review of this Book prepared by Andreea Lupei a Level 5 American Goldfinch scholar

Chapter Analysis of 1Q84

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 10% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Explore/1st contact/ enviro story    -   Yes Explore:    -   dimension travel--a parallel earth Romance    -   Yes Romance plotlets:    -   destined love (dream or prediction) Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   killer Age:    -   20's-30's Really unusual traits?    -   Extremely cynical or arrogant


Earth setting:    -   current (early 21st century) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   explicit references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   none/very little science jargon needed Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   descript of touching personal anatomy    -   licking    -   impregnation/reproduction    -   actual description of sex    -   description of breasts How much dialogue?    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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