Book Review: Norwegian Wood
Author: Haruki Murakami
“I was always hungry for love. Just once, I wanted to know what it was like to get my fill of it – to be fed so much love I couldn’t take any more. Just once.”
It is said that Haruki Murakami was shocked and depressed to find his readership exploding into millions when he published Norwegian Wood in 1987. It was not just fame or super-stardom but it was a craziness drive among the readers and it had a name, Haruki Murakami. I just wonder why I haven’t made up my mind to read it sooner.
“Despite your best efforts, people are going to be hurt when it’s time for them to be hurt.”
There are absolute gems of lines packed up in this book that one gets hungover over them.
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The narrative is done in first-person from the voice of Toru Watanabe. Toru is the usual next-door guy with a normal life, with normal desires and normal everything around him. He moves to Tokyo past the suicide of his best friend Kizuki which had him shattered in the strangest way possible. Naoko, the girlfriend of his dead friend Kizuki also comes to Tokyo for the same reason and a sudden accidental meet brings both Toru and Naoko together where they rediscover their relationship. Toru falls for Naoko and realizes that she has her own set of problems to deal with.
There happens a strange separation between them and it then comes Midori, who is fun and vivacious unlike Naoko, but she is broken too, with her past. Midori falls in love with Toru eventually. Naoko appears in Toru’s life once again and their relationship leads to a different level. Toru finds himself in love with Midori and Naoko both. The tale spins around scarred by passion, grief, casual sex, weird friendships, and death.
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“What a terrible thing it is to wound someone you really care for and to do it so unconsciously.”
Norwegian Wood is not just a love story, it is the story of human flaws, it is the story of how unpredictable our emotions are and how are we helpless to our hearts and fate. Norwegian Wood tells us that it’s alright to have a little desire, let our soul fill with memories. It also attempts to justify that desires often not accompanied by emotions are just blank expressions. No one around is normal. Everyone is fighting their own monster. The ones accepting it are living a life.
“What makes us the most normal,” said Reiko, “is knowing that we’re not normal.”
Haruki Murakami is at his best in this book. The writing is top-notch even though it’s a translated version but when one reads, one goes beyond words and characters and can find oneself with the emotion that Murakami infused, dipped, and filled the entire book with.
Hefty five stars for Norwegian Wood
Review by: Dr-Hanif Hassan Barbhuiya
Book Name: Norwegian Wood
Author: Haruki Murakami
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