So, I finally got around to reading a Murakami book and for no particular reason, I ended up picking Norwegian wood. It was a pretty decent read, and quite different from my usual fantasy novels.

What I liked the most about this book was, well, the writing style. Murakami has this way of drawing you in. Of course I haven’t read any of his other books, I have them on my to-read list already, because he doesn’t seem to be a disappointing writer. The characters were another strong point of the book. I liked how the protagonist refrained from categorizing characters, since no person can be fairly tagged with a single adjective. Murakami himself didn’t indulge in explaining each and everything everyone in the book did and he left a fair portion of the people in the book a mystery to the reader, just like in real lives. More than anything else, he presented an amazing variety of characters, who I found a little weird in the beginning, but got used to very quickly(not to mention one of them closely resembled one of my friends). To put it simply, Murakami’s characters were strange. They were easy to fall in love with, and they felt real.

That being said, the plot didn’t seem a very huge aspect of the novel. It was fairly predictable, but that didn’t make the book any less appealing. The characters were constantly juggling with love, death and life(and sex). A lot of death and sex. Quite a few of them ended up killing themselves and almost all serious conversations ended up with sex. The suicides were off-putting for me. I’m a fairly optimistic person, and suicides never seem to be the right choice to me(I may be naive in thinking so, but that’s my take for now). Death is too extreme, and, well, it ends all other future options, and I can’t help but think that there has to be some other alternative. This was probably why I couldn’t like the book as much as I wanted to.

Anyways, it had many good quotes, and here are a few I liked…

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The main themes of the book: life and death.

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For all of us who love to experiment different book styles, here’s a legitimate reason.

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Harder than it sounds. If only the characters followed through with it…

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A unique way to put it. I’ll be using this for sure.

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That does it. No more am I gonna pity myself.

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Makes sense. It would be too easy in a perfect world to push ourselves beyond our abilities.

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The sad truth..

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It was really a heartbreaking story. Funny how they are always the most moving.

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A great self-description. I started liking Nagasawa after this, though it didn’t last for long.

And that’s it. Norwegian Wood is a story about different people, how they reconcile with their pasts, and decide on the path they want to follow. It has a sad tone to it, and it obviously is not a very good choice when you’re looking for a thriller. There were some parts of the book that I absolutely loved and others that I didn’t feel strongly about(and a few that I disliked) , but it definitely got me thinking about a lot of things. It’s a book that I’d like to discuss.

Rating: 4/5

5 thoughts on “Norwegian Wood (Haruki Murakami)

    1. You should. They get a bit surreal at times so when you are in the mood. I suggest starting with this book itself.

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