7 April 2012

Review: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Author: Haruki Murakami
Publisher: Vintage Books
Published: November 28th 2010
Source: Paperback (bought)
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Summary: 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. A poignant story of one college student's romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man's first, hopeless, and heroic love.

Review:  So I got this at a 50% sale at a bookstore and I did not regret one bit! :) Its a deep book with a simple plot, as ironic as it sounds.

The language Murakami used is BEATUIFUL. I found myself rereading so many sentences and phrases, digesting them and twirling them in my head. 

Here are some quotes:
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
“Letters are just pieces of paper," I said. "Burn them, and what stays in your heart will stay; keep them, and what vanishes will vanish.” 
“No truth can cure the sorrow we feel from losing a loved one. No truth, no sincerity, no strength, no kindness can cure that sorrow. All we can do is see it through to the end and learn something from it, but what we learn will be no help in facing the next sorrow that comes to us without warning.” 
The plot involved one too many suicides. It is a personally issue, I've been around people who want to live but didn't have that choice so its hard for me to comprehend why people would just take their own lives. This is a topic for another day. Anyhow, this bugged me quite a bit and was probably the reason I didn't give it a 5-star review. There was no real explanation as to why those teenagers took their lives.

Moving on, the love story was sweet and at the same time depressing. Loving someone so much but not being able to be together, that's some tough shit. Usually I hate it when characters cheat on their gfs/bfs but in this case I was okay with it because its obvious that Toru did not intend for it to happen and was even in denial. I believe that his love for Naoko was one out of duty.

 This novel is a bildungsroman and everyone would find that they can connect with Toru's struggle with life, death and love.

My rating:

Recommended for anyone struggling with life and Murakami fans.

I am going to check out the movie adaptation! :D


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