Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

norwegian woodI LOVE THIS BOOK! I really like Murakami’s style of writing. This is the first of his book that I read, for sure I will keep going to read all of his books. I guess if I were ever to write a novel, I would HOPE to write like him.

It’s hard to explain what’s the book about. My friend Justin put it simply with his thick British accent, “It’s about nothing really, but I just can’t stop reading it. All the characters in the book have at least some degree of mental illness.” I’d also like to add that a few of them commit suicide. Oh and there’s a lot of sex going on too. Very Japanese-y if you ask me. All the quirkiness and suicide culture..

There’s one whole chapter all about conversation on a Sunday afternoon. In fact, there’s a lot of meaningless conversation in this book. How Murakami makes it interesting, it’s all in his master skill :). You gotta read it for yourself.

People say that this book is the only one of Murakami’s that’s very close to reality. The rest is all dreamlike and surreal. In any way, Norwegian Wood was the one shot him to fame. It’s very popular in Japan, Korea, and Western hemisphere.

~ Finished it on 10 July 2007

4.5 stars
1987 (Japanese), 2000 (English), 400 pp

Memorable Quotes

“Which is why I am writing this book. To think. To understand. It just happens to be the way I’m made. I have to write things down to feel I fully comprehend them.” ~ Toru Watanabe

“All of us are imperfect human beings living in an imperfect world. We don’t live with the mechanical precision of a bank account or by measuring all our lines and angles with rulers and protractors.” ~ Reiko Ishida

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

6 thoughts on “Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami”

  1. Whoa, for a minute there I thought I was listening to myself talking! I ALSO LOVED THIS BOOK! And well, of course, I also would hope to be able to write like him one day :)

    As I normally like to say, with Murakami’s stories, it’s “more about the experience and less about the plot”. It’s all about the emotions that story evokes, how the characters feel so believable, almost lifelike. The traditional definition of a “plot” simply doesn’t work for Murakami. His brilliance defies it. He doesn’t follow the old-age pattern of one hero coming across a big conflict, then fights through the storm, and ends up either victorious or defeated. Murakami’s stories are about life. The sheer reality in the experience of it. Just as you said, Murakami is a master in making something otherwise mundane sound utterly absorbing. And I know many people complain about his vague or abrupt endings. But that’s just the way I love it. In reality, no story really ever ends. Life is a never-ending story.

  2. You summarized his work and style very well Mark. There’s fairy tale like quality to his writing that transports you to another world. I found people that disliked his books are usually fussy about meanings and ‘where it’s going’. I tell them to just enjoy the story (like what you said, the emotions that it evokes, the experience) and don’t take the details too seriously.

  3. Hmm, that’s a good observation, a “fairy tale quality”… and I agree with you on this: “people that disliked his books are usually fussy about meanings and ‘where it’s going’”

Leave a Reply