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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage Paperback – 2 Jul 2015

4.1 out of 5 stars 258 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (2 July 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099590379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099590378
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (258 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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)

Book Description

A mesmerising mystery story about friendship from the internationally bestselling author of Norwegian Wood

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By markr TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am big fan of Murakami, and count some of his books amongst the best I have ever read. That sets a high standard for a new novel to be judged against, but I wasn't disappointed. I could hardly put this down - reading it in two or three sittings, until i had finnished, staying up way too late one night to find out how it ends.

As so often with Murakami this book deals with loneliness, redemption, music, food, love and sex. It is compelling, beautiful and utterly captivating.

One of Murakami's best, in my opinion
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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: Hardcover
When I first came across Haruki Murakami's works back in 2003 (first Norwegian Wood, then Wind-up BC, then Hard-boiled Wonderland etc etc) my world was blown apart. At the time, I was into authors like Hermann Hesse and Italo Calvino, so my acquired tastes were, while pretty out there, still not quite prepared for Murakami's counter-culture off-kilter beauty and outsider weirdness. There's something about Murakami in particular, and not just Japanese literature in general, which drew me to him. Though one of the big problems for me was translation. I really wanted to find out for myself if what I was reading was really good, or if it was the translator who was really really good. There are significant differences in style between Birnbaum, Rubin, and Gabriel, and it bothered me. I decided in 2006 to travel to Japan, ostensibly as an English teacher, but with the real agenda of mastering Japanese so I could read Murakami in the original. I returned in 2010 having paid my dues. What I'm trying to say with all this is: Murakami has changed my life quite literally. His writings actually compelled me to travel halfway across the globe and stay there for 4 years. Nowadays, I would not say that Murakami is my favourite author. I've moved on. But there is no way I would ever neglect to read any new stories he might publish. I've been burned in recent years. IQ84 was a disappointment to me, as was Kafka on the Shore. I won't say much about those books, except that I was expecting more. I still enjoyed them, and they are still very highly rated by myself, but compare either of those two books to Wind-up Bird Chronicle or Wild Sheep Chase and they fall short. So, when I came to Colorless Tsukuru I was not expecting to be blown away.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Waiting for a new Haruki Murakami book is like waiting for one of your favourite artists to release a new album. You wait a year, finally get it and then it's all over far too soon. I was hoping this was going to be a longer book, but having said that, anything is going to seem short in comparison to the mammoth IQ84.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage follows a more straightforward story, much akin to Norwegian Wood, leaving behind the more bizarre elements such as parallel lives and other quirks found in previous works like Kafka on the Shore or The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

The story follows 36 year-old Tsukuru Tazaki's quest to track down his old high school friends, who ostracised him from their close-knit group sixteen years earlier, for reasons he never understood. In order to move on at this stage in his life, Tazaki realises he needs to find out what happened. Relationships, emotions and the constant reminder of human fragility are at the core of this story, which is also quite brutal in places.

Along the way, we deal with recurring erotic dreams, sex, rape, murder and ultimately, mental health issues; a subject often addressed in Murakami's work. Other familiarities include Cutty Sark whiskey, plenty of meals, classical music and Japanese train stations, which form a large part of the backdrop to this story, as Tazaki's quest takes him from Tokyo to Finland.

As ever, the characters are intimately detailed, sensual deeply thought out – arguably Murakami's greatest strength as a writer is his ability to create fascinating, emotive and absorbing characters, and that's definitely the case here. The English translation clearly keeps the poetry of the writing and vivid visuals and ideas intact.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki was certainly worth the wait, and as always leaves you yearning for more. Once you've been sucked into Murakami's literary world, it's difficult to leave. Plus, you don't really want to.
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