The first Haruki Murakami book that I read.
I don’t know what’s with Murakami’s writing that really hit me. It was so different but I can’t pinpoint the difference.
Set during the late 1960’s to early 1970’s Japan, the novel is the story of Toru Watanabe, a normal and diffident college student. Looking for a way to deal with everything that happens around him like the death of his bestfriend, Kizuki. He then meet Naoko, when he moved to Tokyo attend university, a naive young lady whom she fell in love with. Kizuki was Naoko’s former boyfriend. A girl of doubts and vulnerability, Naoko was not sure how he would deal with Toru which made them drift apart away. Toru then meet Midori, the sensual, liberated and outspoken lady whom Toru had sexual interactions with. We learned along the way that Midori also has her own share of longingness for relationships. The rest of the story then revolved around Toru torn between Naoko and Midori.
This is basically an adolescent love story which tacles issue of adolescents growing up in a world and looking for their identity. This is also a story of death and the all the complication of many things that come with it. How many of us deal with death differently. How each loss represents a scar in each of us and how it heals depends on us.
This book is phenomenal. The book hit me hard with it’s set of characters, setting, the author’s narration and the plot. It’s like you’re with the characters. Feeling their feelings and it’s like when they’re speaking they are talking to you directly. It’s like being transported to a different dimension. His words are carressing to some extent. Unexplainable.
The author let the characters grow on the story. The characters were presented in a way that they are broken and diverse. Each of them are like holding a single piece of a puzzle that when fused together they will create a whole better picture of each of them. The author masterfully used the secondary characters to reveal the growth of the main characters.
Murakami wrote with richness and profound understanding of the nature of his characters. He does magic with his words.
A solid book.
“But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.”
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
An easy 5/5 for me. 🙂