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Like Haruki Murakami? Do it on Facebook and read Ch. 1 of '1Q84

September 8, 2011 |  9:41 am

Murakami1Q84 Haruki Murakami's massive new novel "1Q84" won't be on sale until Oct. 25, but its first chapter is on Facebook now.

To access it, fans must "like" the Haruki Murakami Facebook page. Like many things on the Internet, Murakami's Facebook page includes a cat photo -- the author is holding one.

In Japan, the much-anticipated book was closely guarded and held back until its publication day. For its publication in the United States, it is not so hard to find. 

In July, The Millions dug up the first paragraph and published it online. But the next paragraph is what launches it as a story. From Facebook, the opening of "1Q84":

The taxi's radio was tuned to a classical FM broadcast. Janácek's Sinfonietta — probably not the ideal music to hear in a taxi caught in traffic. The middle-aged driver didn't seem to be listening very closely, either. With his mouth clamped shut, he stared straight ahead at the endless line of cars stretching out on the elevated expressway, like a veteran fisherman standing in the bow of his boat, reading the ominous confluence of two currents. Aomame settled into the broad back seat, closed her eyes, and listened to the music.

How many people could recognize Janácek's Sinfonietta after hearing just the first few bars? Probably somewhere between "very few" and "almost none." But for some reason, Aomame was one of the few who could.

And then the story continues. The New Yorker published an excerpt of "1Q84" in late August. These two pieces probably won't give too much away -- the book is 944 pages long.


Haruki Murakami's '1Q84': The first words

Haruki Murakami's '1Q84' coming to America this year

New Yorker brings back Haruki Murakami story for Japan issue

-- Carolyn Kellogg