Norwegian Wood

Author: Haruki Murakami
Pages: 296
Publisher: Vintage Books
Format: Paperback 
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Summary (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. 

My Summary: Toru is a quiet, introverted young student who finds his life turned upside-down when his best friend commits suicide. With nobody else to turn to, Toru isolates himself and moves to Tokyo to attend university. There, through a chance encounter, he reconnects with the mysterious Naoko - his deceased friends girlfriend and possibly the one person who understands exactly what he is going through. But Naoko is not coping well with the death of her first love, and as she slowly begins to deteriorate, Toru can do nothing but wait and hope that their love will be enough to heal her broken spirit. 

My Thoughts: This novel was beautifully written. Murakami has such a way with words - especially when it comes to painting a picture of his settings in your mind. When you read his novels, you can picture every detail so clearly that it's as if you yourself are immersed in the character's world. 

Murakami's novels are often very character-driven, and Norwegian Wood introduces the reader to a likable bunch. Each is so subtly - yet deeply - developed that you find yourself wanting to know more and more about them long after the story is over. I always find that my favourite characters of Murakami's are far from center-stage in his novels, yet their stories always resonate with me. You can't always clearly see the motives of each character, but their complexity and depth is what makes them relatable. Midori was a definite favourite, but for some reason I wasn't overly fond of the narrator (Toru).

Final Thoughts: I recommend this novel to fans of Haruki Murakami's works, or anyone interested in sampling his writing for the first time. Fans of contemporary literature with an edgier side will definitely enjoy this introspective novel and everything it has to offer.

1 comment:

  1. I've heard amazing things about this author . I'm hoping to try him soon. Tnx for the reviw


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