Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

 

After reading Kafka on the shore I could not resist buying a new Murakami novel. This time it was Norwegian Wood, the only realistic novel that Murakami ever wrote.

Toru Watanabe, a 37 year old man finds himself in an European airport and suddenly hears a song that brings back to him lots of memories from his youth. The song is The Beatles’ Norwegian Wood. The rest of the novel tries to picture these memories built around Naoko, a special girl with whom he has a special but very difficult relationship, and Midori, a very human, very lively girl. To many it might seem just a love story that doesn’t even deserve to be read, but I think it’s much more than that. I could identify in the novel many of the symbols that Murakami used in Kafka on the shore: cats, deep forests, etc.

I think reading Murakami is an experience which goes beyond the story that he tells. I consider the characters he builds striking, I found the dialogues very interesting, very human and very realistic, the descriptions are very thorough but not boring. I find it interesting to read Murakami, it makes me feel things, that’s what good writers do!

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. That’s the world of hicks and slobs. Real people would be ashamed of themselves doing that”

 

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