Book Review: Norwegian Wood


I’ve been meaning to post a review about this book however, fear held me. Why? I am insecure with my writing and I fear that my review for this book will give no justice to the author. On second thoughts, I have every right to write what I feel for this book regardless of my credentials and skills for this is my blog. So to anyone reading this and if you should have any problem with the way I write, you’ve been warned.

Haruki Murakami is a celebrated author outside Japan and I’ve often wondered how he achieved such status because the last time I read his book (Wind Up Bird Chronicle), I never finished it. He gave me such a headache that I decided to avoid him. But I didn’t.

Last year, I decided to read his anthology of short stories in “The Elephant Vanishes” and it was odd yet highly entertaining.ย Then I decided to give another shot at his book with a different story, “Norwegian Wood” and I was blown away. Haruki Murakami earned his fame because he writes stories of grief with so much grandeur. Let me tell you something about me – I am a sucker of melancholic stories.

Norwegian Wood (title derived from a Beatle’s song) is a story of how Toru Watanabe became the Toru Watanabe of today. His was a life of a series of events which molded into him. He had a bestfriend but he suddenly died. Then he had a relationship with his deceasedย bestfriend’s girlfriend, who later on left him. That’s as far as I can get you to the plot because from here on, Watanabe’s life will revolve on two women – his past and his present. However, the story does not focus on that triangle but rather on how these events made Watanabe write a story about his past.

The past can only be reconciled when you reminisce it and immortalize it but you continue to live and move on. Forgetting the past is a mistake because it can never be erased. I cannot fully encapsulate the feelings that I had for this book but I love it. This book actually change my perspective about Murakami. Norwegian Wood is unlike the Wind-Up Bird that I tried so hard to read. I’ll read that back sometime.

If you are a first time Haruki Murakami reader, I highly recommend you to read this book first.




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