How Cool is this?
It is a launch more reminiscent of a Harry Potter book than a lengthy, difficult novel by a Japanese author, but bookshops in the US are planning to stay open until midnight to cope with the demand for the translation of Haruki Murakami’s 1,000-page trilogy, 1Q84.
There is a video trailer on YouTube and Spotify song lists of music associated with the jazz-loving author. Others have put up their own sections of translation on the internet for fans unwilling to wait the two years it has taken since the book was first published in Japan, selling an extraordinary 1m copies in two months.
Literary blogs have pored over revelations about plot and character and themes that Murakami has visited before – from love to messianic cults to cats and music, to his use of surreal devices. Murakami’s English-language publishers, Knopf in the US and Harvill Secker in the UK, are anticipating an equally extraordinary level of interest when 1Q84 is published next month. The story follows the characters of Aomame, a hired killer, and Tengo, a novelist, whose lives increasingly overlap in a world that seems ever more unreal.
Hopefully, our local, totally awesome indy bookstore, Powells will be getting in on the fun.
Somewhere there is an alternate universe where book launch parties are like movie premiers. In that world, Murakami is the literary Christopher Nolan and 1q84 is his Inception. I would like to live there, someday.