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Product details

  • Audio CD: 9 pages
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audio Books; Unabridged edition (12 Aug. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471271692
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471271694
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 2.8 x 13.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,045,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"A naturalistic coming-of-age story… sprinkled with strange images and written in a hauntingly mournful key" (Guardian)

"[Murakmi’s] elegant, frugal prose creates a tale of courage and hope as Tsukuru tries to unlock the secrets of his past" (Stylist)

"Critics have variously likened Murakami to Raymond Carver, Raymond Chandler, Arthur C Clarke, Don DeLillo, Philip K Dick, Bret Easton Ellis and Thomas Pynchon – a roster so ill-assorted to suggest he is in fact an original" (New York Times)

"A rich and even brilliant piece of work… Genuinely resonant and satisfying" (James Walton Spectator)

"This is a book for both the new and experienced reader....[it] reveals another side of Murakami, one not so easy to pin down. Incurably restive, ambiguous and valiantly struggling toward a new level of maturation" (Patti Smith New York Times) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A mesmerising mystery story about friendship from the internationally bestselling author of Norwegian Wood --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Peter Lee TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Sept. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a huge fan of Haruki Murakami's work, but after the awful (in my opinion) "1Q84" I confess I wasn't really looking forward to reading this. I'm pleased to say that it is a much more enjoyable read, if a less challenging one.

The book opens rather depressingly with Tsukuru Tazaki full of despair as he has no friends. Back in his youth he was one of a group of five friends who were inseparable, but one day the other four ostracised Tsukuru apparently for no reason. He knew that the other four (two girls and two boys) had colours in their names whilst his did not, but surely that couldn't be the reason? He attempts to contact one of his friends to find out more but they simply tell him that he knows the reason already and shouldn't contact them again.

Years later he is on the verge of entering into a relationship but the woman he meets tells him he has issues, and that he needs to find the root cause. He explains about his circle of friends and his isolation from them, and she tells him that he needs to find out why they pushed him out, and that only by doing this will she continue with their relationship. So Tsukuru sets out to contact his old friends and find out the truth.

In many ways it is similar to his earlier work such as "Norwegian Wood", as this is an easy book to read and has a similarly cold atmosphere to it, almost a sterility. It's a bit of a page turner too, especially when Tsukuru starts to find things out, although it is a little repetitive as the latter half of the book is essentially a series of meetings and conversations.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Murakami is unequivocally one of Japan's greatest writers. Our blessing is we get to read and enjoy more books from his pen.
Reading this latest, after IQ84, I found it a collaborative set of vignettes rather than a heavyweight excursion into fusing a neon Tokyo with a fantastical element driven by the mind of a quasi-religious cult. In some respects, though Murakami's authorship is far more heavyweight, IQ84 was similar in construct to that great fantasy author, Charles De Lint. Both writers choose to bridge the twilight between the modern world of reality and the mythological one where faerie lurks in the shadows, basks in the light. In this latest novel, color is the theme, misunderstanding borne of well-intentioned aspirations the vehicle for the narrative that is Tsukuru.
Our serious, overly analytic - clearly introverted - railway station engineer has emerged from the nihilistic state brought on by his social exclusion from his childhood "Famous Five" (an inadvertent nod to Enid Blyton) to seek answers to why his four friends - Kei Akamatsu, Yoshio Oumi, Yuzuki Shirane, and Eri Kurono - shunned him completely and absolutely for the past twenty years. His developing relationship with Sara leads this understanding lover to advise him that he must come to terms with this event, triggering a series of meetings with them, that leads to conclusion, understanding, rehabilitation, and continuity. He is a protagonist who seeks to change from merely being "middling, pallid, lacking in color."
Tsukuru travels from the showrooms of Lexus to the pottery rooms of Finland as he tracks down his four former friends and seeks understanding - but curiously, not forgiveness either given or received. As he reflects "they are still stuck to me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are many elements of this book that are a return to previous work by Murakami and to many it seems this is a return to form. I am unsure of this as I have liked certain asepcts of all his books even the most recent. There is no doubt that Murakami is a stylistic master and his prose is, to me, always a joy to read. I felt that the first hundred pages or so of Colorless Tazaki were a superb example of this.

There are elements of the main character that appear, to me, to flow through many of Murakami’s books too. A kind of indifference to life which can seem cool, can seem cold and also can seem a little sentimental in a strange way, almost as if the coolness is an affectation or some kind of sentimentality. Maybe I say this as so much of Japanese modern culture has a deep vein of sentimentality running through it. I don’t know for sure.

The other characters in the book are quite solid, and feel like they represent authentic parts of modern Japanese life. The life guru, the Lexus dealer, the competent business women, the lost soul, the ex-pat. Maybe one could be forgiven for thinking these characters fit a little too neatly into these boxes to be truly memorable.

To me, my main problem of the last couple of books, 1Q and this one, is that they are not very rich in plot, particularly in their later stages. They feel a little like shaggy dog stories to me. A positive read on this might by that they share something with haiku. They give a glimpse at something rich and beautiful without spelling out exactly what that something is.

Overall, I was left, like Murakami’s characters, not thinking this is a great book, but not not thinking this is a geat book either.
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