Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage Hardcover – 12 Aug 2014
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"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)
A mesmerising mystery story about friendship from the internationally bestselling author of Norwegian WoodSee all Product description
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Then came the middle, and my rating of this book soared. I was totally gripped! It got weird of course, which I understand to be a trait of Murakami's. Sex dreams, paranormal stories, an obsession with stations and strange inner monologues all featured, but I was gripped by a need to get answers. The story has so many plot twists, and they all are designed to make the reader not only question themselves and life, but be invested in what had happened and would happen to the characters. I liked Tsukuru as a characters, elements of his life (his anxieties and depression especially) resonated with my own experiences and that made me care about him.
And then...it ended. Or rather, it didn't. Because after solving only one mystery, Murakami wasted his final chapters obsessing some more over Japanese stations, reflecting on Tsukuru's watch and family, do some 'deep thinking' and then go to bed not answering a phone that KEPT RINGING. Who was on the other end? I don't know. But what about Sara's answer? *shrug*. Hang on, what happened to Shiro and Haida? NO IDEA. It left me feeling SO frustrated, and even a little cheated. I hate vague endings, but this didn't even feel like an ending. I should never feel like I'm missing pages when reading a book. So why did I give this book a high-ish rating? Because it has been a while since I cared THAT much about 'what happens at the end'. I can't deny that I was hooked on this one, and the writing was good too. Murakami is certainly a master at what he does. I'm just not sure it's to my personal taste.
A bit like a much lesser version of Norwegian Wood in style but the main character was insipid and the story was uninspiring and directionless. I did not like the 'reason' for the mystery that drove the story in the beginning and I began to become quite irritated by the ways in which women were being portrayed.
There was so very little of the bizarre that Murakami does so well and without that, and with an absolute overload on the classic Murakami OTT descriptions of features it just really started to annoy me.
I love this book as it makes you think afterwards and leaves you hollow, yet fulfilled. If you are a fan of Murakami, then definitely give this a try.