When he hears her favourite Beatles song, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend Kizuki. Immediately he is transported back almost twenty years to his student days in Tokyo, adrift in a world of uneasy friendships, casual sex, passion, loss and desire - to a time when an impetuous young woman called Midori ...
When he hears her favourite Beatles song, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend Kizuki. Immediately he is transported back almost twenty years to his student days in Tokyo, adrift in a world of uneasy friendships, casual sex, passion, loss and desire - to a time when an impetuous young woman called Midori marches into his life and he has to choose between the future and the past.
This was my second Murakami book and now I want to read everything he has written. His prose is meaningful, achingly honest and often whimsically descriptive. I fell in love with all of the characters. I delayed finishing the book for two days so that the experience of being in the process of reading the book would last longer. This is definitely one book I will read again.
Jun 25, 2008
Starter Set Murakami
While this doesn't have the surrealism of some of my favorite Murakami novels, Norwegian Wood is a simply beautiful story of love, loss and sadness - themes that pervade all of his works. It's one of his most popular novels and captures a sad but sweet story of a man in love with a troubled woman, and his life with and without her. If you like this, it's a nice first step into the brilliant world of Murakami. After this (and, perhaps, South of the Border, West of the Sun), things get a little wackier - in a good way.
Publishers Weekly, 2000-07-03 In a complete stylistic departure from his mysterious and surreal novels (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle; A Wild Sheep Chase) that show the influences of Salinger, Fitzgerald and Tom Robbins, Murakami tells a bittersweet coming-of-age story, reminiscent of J.R. Salamanca's classic 1964 novel, Lilith?the tale of a young man's involvement with a schizophrenic girl. A successful, 37-year-old businessman, Toru Watanabe, hears a version of the Beatles' Norwegian Wood, and the music transports him back 18 years to his college days. His best friend, Kizuki, inexplicably commits suicide, after which Toru becomes first enamored, then involved with Kizuki's girlfriend, Naoko. But Naoko is a very troubled young woman; her brilliant older sister has also committed suicide, and though sweet and desperate for happiness, she often becomes untethered. She eventually enters a convalescent home for disturbed people, and when Toru visits her, he meets her roommate, an older musician named Reiko, who's had a long history of mental instability. The three become fast friends. Toru makes a commitment to Naoko, but back at college he encounters Midori, a vibrant, outgoing young woman. As he falls in love with her, Toru realizes he cannot continue his relationship with Naoko, whose sanity is fast deteriorating. Though the solution to his problem comes too easily, Murakami tells a subtle, charming, profound and very sexy story of young love bound for tragedy. Published in Japan in 1987, this novel proved a wild success there, selling four million copies. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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