Friday, 13 September 2013

Book Review: Norwegian Wood

Author: Haruki Murakami
Series: -
Published: 1987
Format: Paperback Kindle eBook

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.

Having never read a Murakami before, I was extremely impressed with this book; it depicts the life of Toru through the ups, and mainly downs, of his newly adult years. It is the story of a regular twenty something who is going through life - life isn't all butterflies and rainbows as is depicted in a lot of books, but is in fact sometimes gritty and rough to bare, which I feel is a more life like representation that this book illustrates wonderfully.

The writing in Norwegian Wood is absolutely beautiful and to think that this was translated from Japanese, it's amazing that it still held its rhythm and flow. It was in fact the flow of the prose that kept me reading, and although I'm not always one for overly descriptive scenes, this book knew where and when to stop. It was the descriptions of feelings and thoughts more than anything that I enjoyed; this created a bond between myself and the characters that I haven't felt for a while in a book and I genuinely cared for each and every one of them.

There's something about this book that I thoroughly enjoyed, but I can't quite put my finger on it, there's something different about it. All I can say is that I thoroughly loved this book and I still think about it to this day.


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