18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
What did I miss?,
This review is from: Norwegian Wood (Paperback)
The further I got into this book, the less I understood what all the plaudits were for. This is 'author in wish fulfilment / fantasy' monologue. His protagonist / fantasy self floats along in his own self-absorbed bubble, stopping only to describe every meal that he eats. How much of a fantasy it is can be seen in the fact that the protagonist manages to sleep with every female character in the novel, except his best friend's girlfriend, who he probably could have also seduced if he hadn't been too busy being maudlin and self-absorbed.
These female 'friends' also enjoy describing sex acts of the past to him in great detail, including - absolutely unbelievably - the 30-something Reiko, who tells our narrator within a day of meeting with him about her shameful lesbian encounter with a 13 year old. This is typical of this book, where all the other characters exist simply to reflect Toru - and even he isn't that well developed - and/or arouse him sexually.
The most interesting elements of the novel don't happen to our narrator and therefore occur before the novel, or offstage, meaning there is little action in the plot, just full compositions of the various letters our protagonist writes whilst wallowing around in his solitary existential state.
It could be argued that the book presents a perfect portrait of a self-absorbed, one track mind, male of a certain age - but that doesn't make it a great read, and neither does it make it a great romance. This is not an awful book, in the sense of it being badly written - it is simply an incredibly dull one that will provide you with no reward for your time spent reading it.
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Initial post: 31 Dec 2012 13:05:09 GMT
This is extremely compelling. If I hadn't read your review I might easily have given the book four stars, despite my scepticism about it.
Posted on 18 Jan 2013 10:56:25 GMT
Last edited by the author on 18 Jan 2013 10:58:01 GMT
yeah your pretty much right in your review and it is a translated book so the jap version may mean something different to japanese minds that are generally perverted (the lesbian tale was so corny male fantasy typical japanese!) but i did quite like it as it was different and i would have never read a jap author i guess unless there was the hype i read one of his other books after and it was si-fi crap tried to like it but gave it up
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