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Norwegian Wood Paperback – 17 May 2001
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"A deeply troubling yet poetically beautiful story" (Marie Claire)
"Evocative, entertaining, sexy and funny; but then Murakami is one of the best writers around" (Time Out)
"Such is the exquisite, gossamer construction of Murakami's writing that everything he chooses to describe trembles with symbolic possibility" (Guardian)
"This book is undeniably hip, full of student uprisings, free love, booze and 1960s pop, it's also genuinely emotionally engaging, and describes the highs of adolescence as well as the lows" (Independent on Sunday)
"Catches the absorption and giddy rush of adolescent love... It is also, for all the tragic momentum and the apparently kamikaze consciousness of many of its characters, often funny and quirkily observed." (Times Literary Supplement)
The haunting, enigmatic love story that turned Murakami into a literary superstar in Japan, and is his bestselling title throughout the worldSee all Product description
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This book deals with the love of the one person that spans decades and remains eternal. It deals with the concept of a soul mate, the hunger one has for another person and the vulnerabilities that assail us all if we allow them to. I always feel that I walk in step with his characters, whether male or female amd care absolutely about their journey. Murakami seems to have no comparable writers, in my experience, able to carry this simplicity of style and description of the everyday, so remarkably well. Every page is a joy, and I hope you find this joy too.
There is a network of symbolism at work here too, just as when a character's ash falls on the table, we realise that there are much more important, indeed urgent - spiritual? Existential? - things to attend to than the sterile everyday thoughts we like to harbour. In the end, the journey here is a spiritual odyssey and while there is an element of superficial gloss at work too, a sweet kind of smoothness, the end result is always moving because it is always familiar. There is something soothing about this book, comforting as well as disconcerting.
I think of Murakami as a modern day Soseki - the lone wolf analysing the world around him, finding a somewhat bizarre and hostile place but has the strength to continue, if only to find the answers to his questions. Often we are pleasantly surprised in his work, maybe more so than in real life. In this way, Murakami is an idealist but not overly so. Murakami is not as good as Soseki (that would be to compare casual prose with rich poetry) but they aim at the same thing and often use the same methods to achieve their goals. Highly readable and endlessly intriguing, this book has the winning combination of a rapid course of prose as well as latent sympathy which makes it very agreeable indeed.
Having now read most of his books, this has to be my favourite of his. I won't repeat what a number of other reviewers have done by describing what the story is about, but if you're someone who has experienced a close relationship with someone, and had difficult decisions to make in life, this will especially strike a chord with you. I found myself emotionally drawn in to the story, and when finished, was left wanting more.
Enthralling from start to finish. A short but very sweet story. A great introduction to Murakami if you have not read any of his novels as yet.
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