bookspacePhoto of readermy comments
 home > bookspace > my comments > comment: norwegian wood /
Subscribe via RSS 
Norwegian wood
Haruki Murakami
Adult Fiction MURAKAM

Comments  Summary  Excerpt  Reviews  Author Notes

From Publishers' Weekly:

In a complete stylistic departure from his mysterious and surreal novels (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle; A Wild Sheep Chase) that show the influences of Salinger, Fitzgerald and Tom Robbins, Murakami tells a bittersweet coming-of-age story, reminiscent of J.R. Salamanca's classic 1964 novel, LilithÄthe tale of a young man's involvement with a schizophrenic girl. A successful, 37-year-old businessman, Toru Watanabe, hears a version of the Beatles' Norwegian Wood, and the music transports him back 18 years to his college days. His best friend, Kizuki, inexplicably commits suicide, after which Toru becomes first enamored, then involved with Kizuki's girlfriend, Naoko. But Naoko is a very troubled young woman; her brilliant older sister has also committed suicide, and though sweet and desperate for happiness, she often becomes untethered. She eventually enters a convalescent home for disturbed people, and when Toru visits her, he meets her roommate, an older musician named Reiko, who's had a long history of mental instability. The three become fast friends. Toru makes a commitment to Naoko, but back at college he encounters Midori, a vibrant, outgoing young woman. As he falls in love with her, Toru realizes he cannot continue his relationship with Naoko, whose sanity is fast deteriorating. Though the solution to his problem comes too easily, Murakami tells a subtle, charming, profound and very sexy story of young love bound for tragedy. Published in Japan in 1987, this novel proved a wild success there, selling four million copies. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

A huge success when it was published in Japan in 1987 and only now translated into English, this book would seem to bear little resemblance to Murakami's surreal later novels (e.g., The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle) and has been dismissed as just another love story. But it is more. Overcome by the Beatles song "Norwegian Wood," which affects him the way the madeleine affected Proust, narrator Toru spills out the story of his younger self; best friend Kizuki, a suicide at 17; and Kizuki's beloved, Naoko. After Kizuki's death, Toru falls in love with the beautiful, fragile Naoko, who quickly recedes into mental illness. Toru tracks her to a rest home, where he is befriended by her decades-older roommate, Reiko. But as Naoko deteriorates, he falls in love with a woman at his school who is also troubled but is frisky and open. Toru is honorable and intelligent. He questions his obligations: to the dead, to the living, and to himself. And Reiko? Is she a somewhat sinister figure, coming to almost instant intimacy with Toru? Or is sheDas she is presentedDa sympathetic, almost tragic, figure who wishes all the young people well? Deeply moving, darkly comic, beautifully written, and smoothly translated, this is for all literary fiction collections.DJudith Kicinski, Sarah Lawrence Coll. Lib., Bronxville, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Question about returns, requests or other account details?
 Add a Comment
Submission Guidelines

Find this title in the Library Catalog
Find this title in the Library Catalog

more titles about

main characters Toru Watanabe
Age: 19
His best friend committed suicide.
College student

Age: 19
Her boyfriend committed suicide.

Age: Young adult

recent comments
hcl mobile app
Facebook Twitter Tumblr YouTube Vimeo Flickr Federal Depository Library Federal
Hennepin County Government Hennepin
© 2014  Hennepin County Library12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305 Comments and Feedback    |    RSS