Process or product? Journey or destination?

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I’m still reading Hurakami’s 1Q84 and I’m well and truly down the rabbit hole with no idea where I’m headed. I began the audio-book on my trip down to Margaret River; since then, I’ve traversed many kilometres and many moons: there are two worlds and two narratives in this tome of a novel. I’m disoriented; I’m even dreaming about this book. I find myself thinking of our main protagonists, Tengo, Fuka-Eri and Aomame at strange moments, and I’m keen to return to them.

The thing is, I’m mesmerised, but I have a strong sense that there will be no great pay-off at the end of this book. I’m very invested in the characters and I think I’ll miss them when they’re gone, so I’m okay with that. I’ll take great characters and narrative pacing over a good conclusion any day.

One of my favourite TV series is LOST. I thought the storytelling was superb; the characterisation just about perfect. But the ending was forced, and it left plenty of invested viewers disgruntled. I didn’t care, and I’ll defend that show until the end of days.

What do you think? Are you bothered when a narrative fails on a plot level but leaves you wistful for the friends you’ve made along the way?

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2 thoughts on “Process or product? Journey or destination?

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