Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami


Title:  Norwegian Wood
Author:  Haruki Murakami

Murakami is, hand’s down, one of my favorite authors.  While I’ve only read three pieces by him, all of the works that he has penned are on my “must-read” list.  Entering any of his worlds, the reader must enter knowing that he or she will experience a wide range of emotions.  Norwegian Wood is definitely no exception.

For each of us, there are songs, smells, or places that transport us to the moment of a memory.  Just like that.  “Norwegian Wood” by The Beatles is that song in Murakami’s novel by the same name.  The narrator, Toru, experiences love, loss, and life throughout the course of the novel.  The reader journeys with him through friends’ suicides, stressed and struggling attempts at romance, and frustrating friendships that threaten to pull Toru into an empty way of existing.

I can’t do justice to the story through any description.  Here is a summary:

A special movie-tie in edition for the long-awaited film release based on this beloved novel by Haruki Murakami: the story of one college student’s romantic coming-of-age, a journey to that distant place of a young man’s first, hopeless, and heroic love.

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.

Norwegian Wood is  a beautiful, haunting, and emotional story.  I wouldn’t expect anything less from one of Murakami’s novels.  It left me wanting more.

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Filed under Books, Favorites, Fiction

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