Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Norwegian Wood

Haruki Murakami

(from goodreads)
"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


Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Looking forward to this one. Murakami is a great writer.

BookQuoter said...

I too will have to read this or Kafka on the Shore, which is supposed to be good too, either one to change my mind about Murakami (have only read Wind-up Bird chronicle). Thanks for the review.

Rachel said...

I love Murakami. He is one of my favourites! I am glad you liked this book.

And the plot thickens

tediousandbrief said...

Thanks for stopping by on the Hop and following me. I'm a new follower. I haven't looked too much at your blog, but you seem to be reviewing a number of books I like or want to read (Claude & Camille is probably one of my next ones once I get a copy).

Plus, Haruki Murakmi is my favorite writer. I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed this book! It's unlike his others, but still easily one of my favorites.

Tedious & Brief

Anonymous said...

I loved this book. The translation is beautiful. I prefered The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles though. Have you read anymore by Murakami? (Those are the only 2 I've read so far).

Am over from the hop by the way

Fiona said...

Glad you enjoyed Norwegian Wood - I love Haruki Murakami - he's high up there with my most loved authors. I read Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World the other week and it was absolutely brilliant, I loved it.

His books are super weird though - but in a completely good way.