Norwegian Wood

Norwegian Wood

Book - 2000
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Toru Watanabe, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc., ©2000.
ISBN: 9780375704024
Characteristics: 296 pages ;,21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Rubin, Jay 1941-- Translator


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Oct 29, 2018

My absolute favourite Murakami novel. He writes with such poetic but simple language. Very dark and depressing with a musical backdrop that compliments the story well. It takes a piece of you and has no chance of giving it back. This book is not a love story, although it seems like it may be. Read with caution this is a book of erotic, poetic, dark and hopeful thoughts.

Laura_X Aug 03, 2018

Colors shone with exceptional clarity in the rain. The ground was a deep black, the pine branches a brilliant green, the people wrapped in yellow looking like special spirits that were allowed to wander over the earth on rainy mornings only.

Apr 22, 2017

A young milquetoast navigates early adulthood, ennui and romantic decisions all with hints of societal uproar in late 1960s Japan. This definitely rings true about early male adulthood. The more Murakami I read, the more he becomes my favorite Asian writer.

Jan 28, 2017

I was deeply moved by this heartfelt story about love and loss set in Japan during the 1960s. As this was my first encounter with a Murakami book, I'm looking forward to reading more Murakami this year.

SPL_Stephanie Sep 21, 2016

In his renowned book Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami follows the fractured relationship of two college lovers that are faced with a harrowing tragedy and academic pressures. The haunting story uses dialogue and letters to bring readers into the crippling depression faced by the main character. If you like the complexity and alienation found in the writing of Neil Gaiman or the character-driven focus of Jennifer Egan, you will enjoy this touching coming-of-age story.

Jun 01, 2016

I think I loved everything about this book apart from its setting and title. I could have done without the somewhat distracting 60s Beatlemania stuff, but otherwise a beautiful and heartbreaking tale of young love with superb characters.

Apr 26, 2016

This was, I believe, my second read from Murakami and instantly became my favorite of his.

Aug 10, 2015

I loved this book. It is about a young man and his first love. A coming of age....

Tyler__J Jun 08, 2015

Patti Smith nicely summed up the two styles of Murakami novels. There are the "surreal, intra-dimensional" novels that seem to cause the biggest splash with the English speaking world, like Hardboiled Wonderland, and then there are the softer, "minimalist realist" novels. Of the latter, Norwegian Wood is probably the best. Real people with real problems and real emotions. At least that's how I remember it. Someone may have been making spaghetti, but I don't think anyone talked to a cat.

KateHillier Apr 27, 2015

Not sure what to say about this one. This is my third book by this author and maybe I've just finally hit one that didn't quite affect me the way the other two did. Not to say I didn't like it - I did - but I don't think it clicked with me quite the same as the other ones.

It's a coming of age and a love story all in one package. The main character is in love with a girl who is with their close friend. The close friend kills himself and the two of them start drifting toward one another but also apart at the same time. While Toru tries his best to make his way through life as best as he can, Naoko ends up withdrawing every time she tries to engage a bit more. The novel is told in flashback so the main events are taking place in the 60s so in the background are these student protests which rather compliments the story rather well. Toru also meets a variety of different girls but still is working and waiting for Naoko despite everything. There's a lot to relate to in that.

The writing is fantastic and I can still hear the Beatles' song "Norwegian Wood" in my head even after I've finished it. The song does make an appearance a few times but I just found myself hearing it at odd times. There's a feeling and an aesthetic perhaps to this book that I connected with more than the actual plot, I suppose.

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TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 05, 2016

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.

Laura_X Apr 13, 2015

Nobody likes being alone that much. I don't go out of my way to make friends, that's all. It just leads to disappointment.

Mar 09, 2011

By living our lives, we nurture death. True as this might be, it was only one of the truths we had to learn.

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Aug 08, 2014

smplreader thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Matthew Rohaly
Jun 26, 2013

Matthew Rohaly thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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Mar 09, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Mar 09, 2011

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.


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