1Q84 by Haruki Murakami Review

1Q84 is at times a surreal, ambitious work that finds itself meandering through seemingly unimportant paths that distract the reader from the overall tapestry Murakami weaves. It is a strong narrative, very Japanese in style and tone, and is recommended reading for anybody who loves Haruki Murakami or enjoys Japanese fiction. Like 1984 by George Orwell, 1Q84 presents a dystopian future set in Japan and primarily follows two characters. The title is a play on words, with the Japanese word for “9” being kyuu, here represented by “Q” in 1Q84.


iq84 reviewThe book is filled with religious references and themes, as well as asides that evoke classical composers like Bach and Vivaldi. Murakami extensively quotes Russian author Anton Chekhov’s Sakhalin Island, leaving inferences for the reader to address. The events of the novel occur between April and December of 1984 in Tokyo, Japan and opens with Aomame, an assassin who becomes trapped in a traffic jam and, incidentally, finds herself trapped in an alternative reality.

She deduces this alternative reality’s existence through context clues that require the reader to pay attention because the differences between Aomame’s Japan, of which we know little, and the reality she calls “1Q84” are small, almost insignificant at first and are found in portions of text that a lax reader may miss.

Another major character is Tengo, a writer tasked with re-writing a promising manuscript from a young author known only as Fuka-Eri. The cult and religious themes evoked in these segments are as fascinating as they are unsettling and I found myself really enjoying these portions as this mystery was more immediately accessible to the reader than the Aomame storyline.

Strange World

Fuka-Eri’s world is strange and is immediately so, evoking past tales by Murakami like Kafka on the Shore. Aomame and Tengo/Fuka-Eri’s story combines in a completely fantastical way that reminds the reader of Murakami’s power as an author. Though initially unsettling and slightly strange, it all begins to make sense one the reader connects Tengo’s re-writing of Air Chrysalis with Aomame’s alternative reality and assignment as an assassin.

There is moral ambiguity in Aomame’s assignments and lifestyle in general. The reader wants to cheer her on (and the author goes to great lengths to help in that regard) but, ultimately, she is a murderer and it is impossible to shake the unlikeable, sociopathic personality she exudes. Killing for a good cause is always tough to justify, and Murakami doesn’t let this aspect of the narrative bog anything down, particularly when things start to draw more from a true alternate, fantasy-realm much different from our own.


Again, the novel is best for the reader that enjoys Japanese fiction, as some of the resolutions are baffling and might leave the reader unsatisfied. Towards the end, as much of the masterful Japanese fiction does, it becomes laden with existential realizations and the almost requisite overstressing of the importance of small, ephemeral moments in one’s life. The connections between the main characters are tenuous and almost cosmological at this point and, indeed, to this point one of the defining features of the narrative is the night sky itself.

A beautiful book with crisp, clean language and a well-paced narrative, 1Q84 is the kind of novel that makes the reader work for its revelations – and that can be rewarding in and of itself. It is not, however, a quick read in which you can casually skim over the pages and expect enjoyment. The pastiche of the bizarre, the normal, the fantastical, and the consequential begins to blend into an unrecognizable, almost surreal experience that only begins to make sense when viewed in toto. If you love Japanese fiction, this book is a must read without a doubt.

Sansheng, Wangchuan Wu Shang Review

The web novel Sansheng, Wangchuan Wu Shang Review (三生,忘川无殇 by 九鹭非香) has been completely translated into English by Hamster428.

To be honest, I don’t even know why I read this since it’s not the type of story I like. However, once I started reading, I just couldn’t stop. It’s great!

sanshengThis story was my first time reading a supernatural Chinese novel based on Chinese folklore/myth. Sansheng is a rock who gained consciousness and a human form. She’s like the main character in Dream of the Red Chamber except for the fact that she lives in the Underworld.

One day as she is going about her business (mostly loafing around and reading romance books) she sees something that she likes. It’s Moxi, the war god. He has descended into the Underworld from Heaven so that he can become a human. It’s part of the trials that gods must go through. Sansheng falls madly in love with him at first sight.

What follows is the story of their three human lifetimes together.

It’s very sweet and sometimes tragic but ends in happily ever after. Sansheng and Moxi are both strong characters who both know what they want. They don’t pussyfoot and are very active in their pursuit and protection of their loved ones. Of course, since the three human lifetimes are meant to be a trial, fate steps in and makes every life full of suffering.

The story is quite short, just 15 chapters plus and epilogue and 3 more bonus chapters. The author also has another story set in the same universe, Demon King/The Parting of the Orchid and Cang.

I recommend this to anyone who likes love stories and Chinese myth/folklore.

My Disciple Died Yet Again Review

My Disciple Died Yet Again is a Chinese webnovel that is being translated by Scrya. All of the English translated chapters can be found on the My Disciple Died Yet Again project page.

This is my favorite translated webnovel.

my disciple died yet again review


Zhu Yao crossed over into another world. At first she thought it was ancient China, only to be very shocked later when she found out it was a Xianxia world. In that world, Yu Yan is the most powerful cultivator around and has been looking for someone with lightning spirit veins who can inherit all of his skills and knowledge. When Zhu Yao appears, he takes her on as his personal succeeding disciple. Unfortunately for him, his new disciple tends to die a lot.

But that is just the first few chapters.

Spoiler alert! The real story: Zhu Yao was transmigrated to that world to fix bugs. The first bug is the typical Xianxia harem master whose carelessness will destroy the world if Zhu Yao doesn’t stop him first.

The rest of the story is told in several different arcs as the main character must travel through time and space to fix more and more annoying bugs. Yu Yan helps her.


I love funny stories and My Disciple Died Yet Again is never fails to make me laugh. The main character is a modern woman who has a refreshingly common sense approach to most things. When the world she is in is full of the usual Xianxia characters (arrogant cultivators, demonic beasts, cunning sect masters, harem protagonists, Mary Sues, etc.) this makes for great comedy when her no-nonsense attitude clashes with their fantastic, over-the-top actions.

For example:

Because of this talk, Zhu Yao understood that her master not only lacks common sense, he was face blind as well! Who wouldn’t be able to remember the name of a Peak Lord after living for more than ten thousand years? With such a personality, Zhu Yao reckoned he had already offended every single person that he could have offended…

Zhu Yao is mostly overpowered. Every time she dies and resurrects to fix yet another bug, she normally receives a cheat that can help her accomplish her goals. The problem is that the bugs are likewise overpowered – otherwise, the Dao could have easily fixed them. She’s like a janitor that is only called after all the usual cleaning methods have failed. So when the poor main character arrives at the scene, there’s always a HUGE mess.

Yu Yan,  Zhu Yao’s master, is a hilarious character. He is very powerful and has lived for around 10,000 years but he started cultivating at a young age. Thus, he knows almost everything about cultivation but nothing about ordinary common sense.

To give an example, he forgot that humans need to eat and poor Zhu Yao nearly starved until she reminded him that she isn’t an immortal like him. However, once he realized that his disciple needs food, he is able to cook better than anyone else because his life skills are maxed. He can refine weapons, create formations, cook, sew, fight, and do practically anything you can think of – except prevent his disciple from dying.

Yes, Zhu Yao dies a lot. Even though she rezzes, it’s still quite nerve-wracking for all her friends and especially her master.


I recommend this webnovel to anyone who likes Xianxia and comedy. The main character and her master are extremely funny. Currently, it’s a little over halfway done since there are now around 250 chapters translated.

The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime Review

I read The Millionaire Fastlane a few weeks ago. Of all the books I’ve read, this book is right at number 1. The Millionaire Fastlane is going to be all ways to become financially independent.

This is a must all read for all aspiring entrepreneurs. A distinction is made between “The Sidewalkers,” “The Slowlane” and “The Fastlane.”

The sidewalks are people who work for someone else and spend their money every month.

These people are often in red (mortgage, credit cards) and will have to work as a “wage slaves” throughout their lives to pay the bills.

The slow lane is people who slowly build up an asset by investing money in, for example, shares. This is also possible; however, the major disadvantage is that it can take a very long time. This depends on your current situation and requires an adjustment in your lifestyle.

The fast lane is people who quickly build ability. They are not only fast but also have high strength. These people may potentially be multi-millionaire in a few years. Also, they do not have to adjust their lifestyle downwards, which is the case with the slow lane.

The mindset

the millionaire fastlaneThe big difference between these groups is the mindset. The mindset of somebody from the slow lane is committed to slowly building up wealth. At this moment you distance yourself from certain dreams. For example, it’s not possible to buy a luxury sports car or villa by the slow lane.

The ability to build up is too slow.

The mindset of somebody from the fast lane is completely different. This mindset is that nothing is impossible. Multi-millionaire within 5-10 years is fine. You just have to do something for that. It won’t happen if you do not believe it will. These people, therefore, invest in themselves. They build a product or service. Some guidelines have been prepared for the perfect product/service.

A product or service must comply with NECST (Need, Entry, Control, Scale and Time).

Need (do other people need it?)

There must be a need for your product or service. If no one needs your product or service, your product or service will never be satisfied. There are enough companies to start because they like to do it for example. They do not look at what other people need. It’s not about what you think is a good idea but what other people find a good idea.

Entry (entry level)

The entry level of your product or service must be high. This means that not everyone should be able to do what you do. If so, the chance is that other people do better. The other disadvantage of a low entry level is that you have a lot of competition.

Control (Control)

Do you manage your product or service or have other people control over it? For example, consider affiliate web sites where products are sold. You determine how much you make when you are in control. However, if the member party decides to stop it, you are without income. You are not in control. The best part is to be in control of your product / service.

Scale (size)

If you want to be financially successful, then the scale must be large. As you have been able to read in how your millionaire is, it depends on how many people affect you. With a local store, you will not get rich. You depend, of course, on your location and the people who come to your store every day. For example, a web shop has a much larger range. The bigger the scale and the more people you influence, the richer you become.

Time (time)

Your product or service must be able to sell itself without having to work for it. Either way, it must be an asset. If you have a good product, but you still have to work 40-60 hours a week, you’re not financially independent, even if you earn thousands of Dollars a month. You must disconnect your own time from the product/service. For example, think of a web shop. A web shop is online 24 hours a day 365 days a year. No matter what you are doing. Whether you are sleeping or swimming on the Hawaiian coast. The products sell themselves through the web shop, and you do not have to worry about it.

Total Content:

The book contains confrontational and clear information. I expected to learn little news but completely changed my mind set. The book that everyone has to read wants to be financially independent.

Difficulty: Easy, reads well Fully English.

Strengths: The chapter is short and impactful with a summary to see what you have read. The book gives a feeling that you finally know what to do to become a multimillionaire.

Less high points: The numbers that are placed on how fast people from the slow lane become financially independent are just too great. As you can read on this site, you will be financially independent within 17 years as soon as you can save and invest more than 50% of your income. The Millionaire Fastlane uses other figures that fall higher. I do not entirely agree with that. Before you start a product or service immediately, it’s important that you read the book first. This book is packed with secrets and tricks that you just have to face and try out. After reading this book, you have everything to be potentially multi-millionaire within ten years.

Let me imagine that you should do something about it. That means, besides your work, every hour of free time what you have to spend on your product or service. And that for several years. Either way, it is not for everyone. Only the people who continue and believe in will reach the summit. Not for nothing, there are relatively few millionaires.

The Millionaire Fastlane is a recipe. If you apply this formula well, the outcome will always be positive. The ingredients determine you. This will not be found in this book. The recipe is there; it’s up to you to add the right ingredients!