Murakami 1Q84 Book Two Chapter 8: 天吾:そろそろ猫たちがやってくる時刻だ

Welcome to the Book 2 前編 chapter 8 thread!
Refer to the Home Thread for the schedule and links to specific threads.

Please pay attention to the warnings, as some of them apply specifically to book 2!

Content Warnings

This story contains themes of an adult and/or sensitive nature, including cults, sex, murder, and sexual abuse of children, both mentioned, and graphic (though not until Book 2, in the latter case).

Discussion Rules (shamefully stolen off the regular book clubs)
  • Please use spoiler tags for major events in the current chapter(s) and any content in future chapters.
  • When asking for help, please mention the chapter and page number. Also mention what version of the book you are reading.
  • Don’t be afraid of asking questions, even if they seem embarrassing at first. All of us are here to learn.
  • To you lurkers out there: Join the conversation, it’s fun! :durtle:


Start Date: 27.06.2021
Previous: Chapter 7
Next: Chapter 9

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Just dropped by to see if there was a new thread for this week’s chapter… And it feels so weird that we are almost halfway through book 2 and yet most of the weekly threads have no comments, so here I am writing something😂

Honestly, I’ve been trying to find some time to go back and write down some thoughts on those chapters for a while, but I either finish them a bit too late and hurry on to the next chapter to keep up or put it all off because commenting always ends up taking more time than I expect when I start typing (happened today too…). Believe it or not, last weekend I planned to finally write about all the chapters because I had an 8-hour train journey with nothing else planned but I still ended up missing the occasion. FOR THE LAST TIME.

So… Some thoughts on chapter 8, before I get too deep into the next one:

  1. The story 天吾 is reading seems to resemble the dream his girlfriend kept seeing: both have someone intruding on a somewhat harmonious, but enclosed world to find themselves first observing, then unintentionally perturbing the peaceful lives of the inhabitants, to finally end up realising that something terrible and probably inevitable ever since they set foot in that place is about to/ already starting to happen to themselves.
  2. Definitely didn’t expect 天吾 to go where he did, but it’s good to see people finally realising that at least part of their present misfortune lies in unsettled matters from their distant past (青豆 also admitted being unable to get rid of the habits and world view she acquired as a child; it’s heartwarming to see them reach similar conclusions when they live in such different environments). It seemed more likely that he’ll try to find his girlfriend or, why not, ふかえり. That being said, I wasn’t too fond of the girlfriend, in fact I quite wanted her to (chapter 6 spoiler, a bit redundant, I suppose) go away at some point (oops…). But now I almost want to have her back in the picture or at least know that she’s okay. It feels so lonely to see everyone around the protagonist disappearing and I have a feeling those さきがけ guys are not unrelated to this situation…)
  3. 自らの内側で徐々に広がっていく空白と共存することを余儀なくされている: this radically changed my perspective on dementia - at least I understood that 天吾’s father is suffering from something similar, although he could be younger than the majority of those affected by this illness. Maybe the symptoms were triggered by something or associated with some other kind of mental disorder? I’m still thinking that he could be the same NHK guy who attacked someone with a knife in the old newspapers 青豆 was reading.

    Related to this subject:
Don't be like 天吾, take care of your loved ones

Nevertheless, dementia is an incurable, insufficiently understood illness and detecting it in its early stages, when its progression can supposedly be stalled or even reversed is in itself a hard task, but even less likely when those affected are isolated from society, like our protagonist’s father, because usually the ones who notice the symptoms are the family and friends of the patients (who, on the contrary, are more likely to attribute them to stress or normal aging and ignore them).


There is now. :eyes:
I’ve fallen behind quite a bit (I think chapter 6 is the last one I read) due to getting distracted by other books and social life picking back up a bit these last few weeks, which also made me ‘forget’ (put off in the hopes of catching back up, really) posting before Sunday a couple times. I feel more motivated now that I know there’s some commentary to look forward to, though! See you on the other side of these chapters. :grin:


Took me a good while, but I finally started this chapter today. Not done yet, but I wanted to share a sentence at the beginning of the chapter I found particularly striking or interesting for some reason. In any case it made me stop and pause for a bit: 無気力が個人的な霞[かすみ]のように彼の身体[からだ]を包んでいた。

Alright, moving on. I do want to read the spoilers above. :muscle:


That’s a powerful image! I really love his expressiveness.

Now compare this to five times 姿を消す in three pages :sob:

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reply got a bit long

Thank you. :upside_down_face:

Oh yes, I know the feeling. As well as wanting to go back and comment… I rarely do that, even when I want to. Somehow it’s just not the same.

Huh, you’re right! I saw the parallels to what was happening with 天吾, but didn’t think about his girlfriend’s dream at all. Although she is the one who disappeared. (do I need to spoiler mark this? It’s end of chapter 6 info, but I’m still not sure. Probably because it feels so relevant now that Hijiki pointed it out)

  • haha, you also spoiler marked that. :grin:

You’re drawing so much more from this than I am! I suppose I’m not reading into things so much and more just reading. Now I feel like I’m probably missing a bunch. :see_no_evil:
I did like the scene last chapter where 青豆 drew strength from old habits and mantras. It was very fitting for the setting, as well. :slight_smile:

I also read it that way. There’s different types of dementia, with different ‘causes’, as they may be. 天吾’s father’s dementia seemed more supernatural than that though. But that may just be my view being colored by 天吾’s experiences right now. The sentence you quoted it quite striking, I agree.

It’s also good you bring that article back up, I’d almost forgotten about it. Dementia can cause a feeling of anxiety, and they said he first showed symptoms shortly after retiring. Maybe it wasn’t quite like that? Yet again 青豆’s version of events may be totally different, or similar but different, or actually the same. ||It’s like instead of clues, we’re also just getting exposed to more riddles here, just like 天吾 said. Although I’m sure there’s hints sprinkled everywhere, if one knows what to look for…||

I wasn’t expecting to finish this chapter today, what with it being on the longer side and 天吾. But from the moment he boarded the train, even more so when he finally got to the hospital/home, I couldn’t stop reading.

Yes, so do I! Sometimes the details get a bit much for my taste, but I appreciate the way he writes.
Come back to 1Q84, we have good prose😈

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