CRITICAL LINKING: November 14, 2011

Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.

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Instead of our normal quotations from 4-5 stories, today’s Critical Linking will features several quotations from just one: Janet Maslin’s assault on Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84, which most reviewers are pretty high on.

1. ” And is it actually about anything? Don’t be silly. Mr. Murakami is far too playful and allusive an artist to be restricted by a banal criterion like that one.”

2. “You, sucker, will wade through nearly 1,000 uneventful pages while discovering a Tokyo that has two moons and is controlled by creatures that emerge from the mouth of a dead goat.”

3. “In one of the many moments that suggest Mr. Murakami takes some of his cosmic rules from Kurt Vonnegut’s playbook, there turn out to be people known as receivers and others known as perceivers. The balance between them must be exquisitely maintained, or else — who knows? We never exactly find out what is at stake.”

4. “It used to be customary, in a book of this magnitude, to explain unanswered questions and tie up loose ends. Mr. Murakami clearly rejects such petty obligations, and he leaves many of the parallels in “1Q84” cryptic and dead-ended.”

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