I Wanna Hold Your Hand

Finally finished reading Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84”. Thoughts: beautiful, captivating, touching.

For a change, the ending is slightly more “happy” than I’m used to getting from Murakami.

Maybe it’s true. The Beatles’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” is the only love song that actually got it right. Heard that from the Nick and Norah movie. Completely forgettable movie, save for that scene.

When I read “Sputnik Sweetheart”, I thought Murakami affirmed what I believed in all along. We can be surrounded by people but we’ll always be alone. Joseph Conrad: “We live as we dream: alone.”

But now Murakami tells us it’s “alone but not lonely”, that there can be connections so powerful we can go through life and survive the seeming loneliness. It’s a heartwarming thought, certainly, though I’m not sure how accurate Murakami is this time.

But maybe the point is that such a connection is rare. That not all of us will have that special bond that Tengo and Aomame had. Maybe some us are Ushikawa, alone and desolate. He lived and died alone, that one.

So maybe “Sputnik Sweetheart” still holds true. We’re still satellites floating around, meeting briefly only to separate inevitably. Unless we’re Tengo and Aomame, that is.

Originally written November 8. I try to capture my most immediate reaction after reading a book by writing stuff down in my handy-dandy notebook. I might miss a few things because I haven’t had time to really process things, but I believe the immediate reaction is the most honest, and therefore the most interesting.


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