Friday, January 28, 2011

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

I have finished this book some time ago but I just can’t find the right words to describe the novel and my feelings about it. Because I feel that whatever I’ll write won’t be enough to express it’s beauty. Always when I read Murakami’s books I find myself thinking how elusive life is and how our decisions affect other human beings. Norwegian Wood is a story about loneliness, love, making choices and growing up. There is also a stable element of Murakami’s – women. All of them special in their own way. And of course it’s filled with music. Like it was playing in the background during reading...

The plot…

Toru Watanabe had only one friend in his life - Kizuki. When he dies in the age of 17 something dies in Watanabe too. But life goes on, Watanabe moves to Tokyo and goes to university.

A year later he bumps into Kizuki’s girlfriend, Naoko in the subway. They never talked much when Kizuki lived but they decide to spend Sundays together walking through the streets of Tokyo. The memory of the dead friend floats in the air and they try to cope with the loss each on their own way but Naoko is not strong enough. One day she disappears and Watanabe finds out she is in a psychiatric hospital-like place near Kioto. They exchange some letters and arrange few visits, hoping to be together when it ends.

There is also Midori, an eccentric girl from his university who is fascinated with cooking and porn movies and says inappropriate things all the time. They have much fun and feel good in their own company. But friendship evolves in something more. In the end Watanabe must realize what he wants and take life in his own hands.



  1. I read this book years ago and I loved it lots too.. It is a book you can't read and feel nothing about! A real page-turner!!!

  2. Once more I can't read your review. I'll very soon because I am reading it now. I have to force breaks or I would read it in a few days and then no more Murakami. I am already in love with the few I read and I can't wait to hear more and more about the characters that appear and disappear! Then, I'll watch the film (: and oh the song Norwegian Wood is so beautiful. I listen it and I feel I know everything the book talk about when I don't know nothing at all.

  3. Haha, somehow it seems that everyone talks about Murakami lately ^^ I hope to lay my hands on this book once, it's always borrowed in the library... I can understand your feelings about writing this review... sometimes I need to think a lot to put what I feel into words... and still wonder whether it was the right things to pick... Sometimes I feel that I'm taking a handful of English and throwing it on some kind of cognitive canvas, hoping that it will all fall on the spots where it should, so that others would be able to understand me... ^^ I want to write some reviews soon too ^^

  4. I am talking about Murakami for about four years (: since I discovered him. I am afraid that soon or later people will mention him with some irony, like when a writer is very famous, and every kind of people likes his work, sometimes people start avoiding such personalities too to the high levels of commercialization, but I don't care a bit. There are still many of his books to read. I'll always float with his stories. I don't feel alone when I read about his characters. I feel there is someone who understand each side of myself. (:

  5. I know everyone around talks about Murakami and I wasn't sure what to expect when I first reached for his book because I've had bad experiences with the bestsellers authors, but I think his books will be classics one day :)
    Joana, you can read the upper part of the post, till the song. There are no spoilers. It's my very general feeling about the book/ Murakami's books.

  6. Oh I read it... I will not die! I am in the middle of it and I am tired to hear about Norwegian Wood, it is probably the book people talk more about. I am in the middle and I am totally in love once more. Even if Toru is a man, he is the character created by Murakami with most resemblances with myself. I obviously want to write my own review so I'll not write that much here again. After this Toru the character that I love the most is May Kasahara from "The Wind-up Bird Chronicle".