The crane flies low, dangerously close to the roofs of cars, so close that a careless truck could quickly knock it out of the sky. Everyday the swan swoops down, the same time, the same place.
The crane visits the green lawn by the bungalow, the dogs and inhabitants give him no mind. He feeds and makes his way across the street, slowing working his way up, towards the end of the patchy shrubs between the pavement and tar road. He moves methodically, disappearing and appearing on roofs, compound walls but never parked cars.
That is his afternoon, by evening when the sky turns grey and dull, he flies off. A fellow observer knew the cranes patterns and told me where to look for him. Their main takeaway was that the crane had a strict adherence to routine and that it was alone.
This was once a valley, named after the elephants who drank at the lake. Now the valley is flattened by apartment complexes, houses, roads and turns. The low storm drain was once a fast stream and maybe instead of the pigeons, kingfisher and hawks, between electric wires and dropping covered TV-dishes there was more to this valley for a crane.
Can you tell a crane to move? That the lakes are gone and that there may be one, but soon he’ll be gone.
From the memory
of a power cut, of a starry night
before my cousins and I
knew how to fight
I have gone
For so long.
Alas! The crawl of modernity.
Even here, the orange night
Oh Mangalore how long
has it been
since you’ve know
that star gilded night?
The last book ended with a cliff hanger that suggested the story was going to become more intense, and the many many questions that the first book raised would be answered. It did. Just not in the way you’d expect.
Murakami revisits what we already know while his characters try to understand the world they are in. The novel[within the novel], which was written in the first book, is elaborated on in a manner that makes you want go read the first book again and hit yourself for not seeing things more clearly the first time around. Yet again Murakami uses the novel that was written in the story to tell the reader where he/she should be looking. The readers like the characters do not receive any direct or complete answers. But make no mistake there is a lot of development.
The way this development works isn’t like the sort in most other stories. The development is extremely slow, minute and detailed. Because every single thing that happens in the story does something to alter the perception of the books characters, you never get bored or feel overwhelmed. The amount of detail and struggle, makes progression seem believable. It more philosophical progression than plot progression.
Few authors are able to repeat what has already been said over and over again and still make it interesting. Irrelevant and minute details in the characters individual stories grow in significance as they[ the characters] reflect on the changing world. Every time you look at a story again a few extra details you picked up as the other stories progressed change the meaning and relevance of everything you already knew. Anecdotes and idle chit-chit suddenly become incredibly important revelations that push the story in directions you would have never seen coming.
They also link up implied or unstated histories/stories as well, making the world far more and far more extraordinary. The fantastic difference ,between the real world and that of 1Q84, such as the two moons, air chrysalis etc blend in fantastically and do not actually make the story seem any less believable. In fact you might not care for them as much as for the love story that happens while the entire world around two people changes.
Everything in the first book is picked up, examined and elaborated on. These changes that encourage a sort of spiritual journey in both Tengo and Aomane, are the most interesting parts of the book. Their beliefs and motivations become as fantastic as the world around them. Perhaps this is why Murakami made the world around them so extraordinary, to try and show the reader how extraordinary certain beliefs can be even when compared to a sky with two moons.
The story moves slowly although it never seems to lose steam, Murakamis writing is again very essential in making it work. It isn’t easy to make you feel indifferent to a serial child rapist. However there are a few sentences that seem awkward at times, especially when talking about sex. And the idea that a person in japan would have croissants just sitting in their fridge doesn’t seem very believable to me. But I suppose croissants begin the most unbelievable thing in a story with two moons is a good thing.