Three Novels to Read Now

New books by Haruki Murakami, Neal Stephenson, and Russell Banks.

New books by Haruki Murakami, Neal Stephenson, and Russell Banks.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (Knopf; $30)

The latest behemoth from Japan's surrealist master, about (among other things) a woman who walks down a freeway emergency staircase and into a parallel dimension, is being hailed as his masterpiece.

REAMDE by Neal Stephenson (William Morrow; $35)

In Stephenson's first cyberthriller since 1999's Cryptonomicon, a pot smuggler discovers the perfect way to launder money: through the shadow economy for digital gold in a massively multiplayer online video game.

Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks (Ecco; $26)

The author of The Sweet Hereafter tells the harrowing tale of a young Florida man convicted of statutory rape who, after being released from prison, is forced to live in a tent city with other sex offenders.

—By Timothy Hodler

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