Emergency Rinks – 1Q84 Book 3 Review, Tachiyomi Apps, Beer Gardens

Qwick! Emergency Rink Time!

Unresolved mystery from the mind of Murakami

This is my review of 1Q84 Book 3. It was tough to review this volume without providing some semblance of plot summary for the first two books, so avoid it if you are waiting for a spoiler-free English translation. Although, to be honest, one thing I’ve realized from reading 1Q84 is that Murakami’s fiction is process-based and not plot-based. You’re not reading to figure out what happens; you’re reading to experience the action of the novel along with the protagonist. So spoilers shouldn’t matter all that much. This is also why I think Murakami is weak when writing in third-person: he depends so heavily on tying a reader’s feelings to a single character (easy to do in first person) to make the process feel more immediate that he can’t write complex third-person fiction. The flip flopping of chapters is kind of a weak way to mix up the point of view. At least in other novels where he used the technique he was telling different stories. Ugg. Depressing. SHORT STORIES. WRITE SOME SHORT STORIES.

Big (only) in Japan? Rooftop beer gardens

A little extension on the linguistic aspect of this article. Japanese commenters on various websites note that “beer gardens” are ビアガーデン rather than ビールガーデン because it’s closer to the English pronunciation of the word “beer,” but that begs the question why beer isn’t always pronounced like that. One possible answer is that ビア is one syllable shorter, making the longer compound “beer garden” one syllable more efficient and easier to say. It also prevents there from being two awkward long vowels that result with ビールガーデン.

Tachiyomi: Do it on your device

I can’t believe that this app hasn’t existed until now. I think the only excuse is probably the rights for the magazines themselves. Although, the real secret is that most people tachiyomi comic monthlies – not magazines – so it’s easier to read the “whole” issue. I bet they target the current episode of the stories they follow and then just skim the rest of the issue.