Having finished Hard Boiled Wonderland a week earlier, I was psyched to read 1Q84. By 300 pages in my interest was waning, but I was willing to cut Murakami some slack. I figured I was only around 1/3 in and there was plenty of time for a turn around. By 700 pages in, I was just trying to finish it. The story lost it's punch, it was confusing and I wasn't nearly as afraid of (or interested in) the Little People as you'd have to be to care about how it's going to end. Some of the character development was inconsistent too. And I know Murakami's got a little freak to him, but the constant underlying thread of kinky sex took away from the story and the characters for me. Clearly it's an aspect of life that Murakami is interested in exploring, but I didn't find that his fixation with the characters' sex lives added much in this work. It had all the fixings of a book I'd really like, but it never quite made it there. Maybe he needs a better editor? Anyways, it's not the last Murakami I'll read - even if the execution isn't ideal I think he's got interesting stories and a unique way of looking at the world. I wouldn't recommend starting with this one (or maybe ever reading this one) but I wouldn't write Murakami off because of it either.