Wednesday 15 May 2013

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami - Book Review

Title: Norwegian Wood
Author: Haruki Murakami
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: 1987
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Genre: Literary Fiction  
Source: Xmas Gift

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The haunting, enigmatic love story that turned Murakami into a literary superstar in Japan, and is his bestselling title throughout the world

When he hears her favourite Beatles song, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend Kizuki. Immediately he is transported back almost twenty years to his student days in Tokyo, adrift in a world of uneasy friendships, casual sex, passion, loss and desire - to a time when an impetuous young woman called Midori marches into his life and he has to choose between the future and the past.
(Goodreads Synopsis)

Norwegian Wood is a book I've come to after seeing the film, rather than my usual order of 'book first'. So, I did come to the piece with certain expectations, knowing roughly where the story would take me. Regardless of that, the book was never dull, driven as it is by such fantastic, believable characters.

This is a book where the story arc is in some ways incidental; it is all about these people, their lives, their beliefs and hopes.... Murakami masterfully weaves their lives together and yet they remain more like strangers passing in the night.

Always remaining just on the right side of depressing, this is a captivating and haunting tale that draws the reader in and refuses to let them go.

Perhaps not my all-time favourite Murakami work, but certainly one I will never forget.

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