I think it fair to say that 2011 has been a weak year for new fiction in the United States. However, the publishers at Knopf must be pleased: this literary famine has almost certainly heightened the anticipation for the English translation of Haruki Murakami's massive Japanese bestseller, 1Q84.
For those who want a teaser, the New Yorker has a rather lengthy excerpt, available here. (As I know I will be purchasing it, I am avoiding excerpts, plot summaries, and the like.)
I do find it a bit disconcerting to learn that the novel has two translators: Jay Rubin, for the first two parts, and Philip Gabriel, for the third. I suppose this was done in order to finish the 944-page translation in as timely a manner as possible. Happily, both are experienced as translators of Murakami. I can only hope that there will not be a noticeable break in style.
Otherwise, the question for me is whether to buy the hardcover (if so, pre-ordering may be wise) or the Kindle version. Certainly, it looks to be an attractive book, and one I would be happy to have lingering on my shelf. But, it is not going to be an easy book to carry on the subway.