"Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman. "
I was very impressed with Norwegian Wood. Murakami brings to life Toru Watanabe in such a way that I, as a reader, felt I could reach into the pages and touch him. He's flawed. Man is he flawed. An introvert to the very core, Toru spends a lot of time reading the Great American Novels while everyone else is reading Japanese Bestsellers. He goes about his business without a care that the people he associates with are only there because of proximity and not any real meaning. Toru may be flawed, but the few people he comes to care about make him seem perfectly normal. Naoko is quiet and aloof, Reiko is to used to her protected life, Nagasawa is a perfect ass and Midori is a little to extroverted for the people she loves.
All at once a Coming of Age story, a story of first loves and eternal losses Norwegian Wood is a perfect story for all ages, beautifully translated (at least in my edition) and will stay with you for weeks after you put it down for the last time