“You don’t get it, do you?” I said. “It’s not a question of ‘what then’. Some people get a kick out of reading railroad timetables and that’s all they do all day. Some people make huge model boats out of matchsticks. So what’s wrong if there happens to be one guy in the world who enjoys trying to understand you?”Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
What to expect?
This probably could be the first book about love I liked. But, what the heck?! It isn’t a book about love! What is it about anyways? Well that’s where I believe lies the true magic of what Murakami writes.
It is a story where you walk down a road where death seems comfortable and apparently death is an innate part of life, a part where you’re stuck in love and yet you walk backwards towards the future. (Am i reading gibberish? Definitely no! Norwegian Wood speaks exactly about this.)
Set in the 1960s Japan it does take you back to those times with such vivid clarity, you could smell the cherry blossoms of a certain tree in 1960 Tokyo while sitting at your home. It is surprising to see how the world of Murakami works without fishes raining from the skies, skies with two moons, a museum of skulls and underworld creatures comes alive in a peaceful chaotic story.
The story itself…
Norwegian Wood is a story of an ordinary guy Toru Watanabe, who lives an ordinary life, in an ordinary dormitory. But, guess what? The ordinary is just not ordinary! (extra ordinary? Nahhh.. Under-ordinary? If any such word exists; then this story definitely is that)
This is a story where Toru is stuck to the happenings of the past spent with his friend Kizuki and his girlfriend Naoko. And with this coming-of-age story where Toru and Naoko have something special amongst themselves, each coping up with death and love and a common source of an emotional trauma.
Just as Toru seems to be sorting his life out he meets a hypocritical Nagasawa and is befriended by a classmate of his, Midori an outgoing girl who has her own fantasies and who apparently has her own issues to tackle and just likes how Toru is! Toru meets Reiko who has a significant part to play in the lives of Toru, Naoko, and Midori.
Norwegian Wood is a story that creates a simple web, and intertwining the cause-effects of the world. It brings Toru to a stage where he has to make a decision, but does it matter? It does and it doesn’t at the same time! And the climax, just leaves you with a feeling of loss and also it sort of leaves the reader to make an interpretation for themselves.
Despite your best efforts, people are going to be hurt when it’s time for them to be hurt. Life is like that.Haruki Murakami (Norwegian wood)
It has been ages since I’ve read a book that takes out a piece of you and leaves you with a bittersweet aftertaste which being helpless we just can’t get over! This is a book which can make you feel a sense of melancholy, and yet make you feel at peace with it! This is a book that brings out the inner hauntings of yourself, shapes whatever you are, and that is exactly how you breakdown just to find something special you’ve never realised!
Have you ever had a papercut and enjoyed it? Have you ever been hurt and you just never wanted to get over it? That’s exactly what this book leaves you with. You feel like you’ve sunk into the depths of your heart gasping for air and also made peace with the pain.
It definitely is an immersive read while we’re absorbed into the griefs of each of the characters and empathise with them, cringe and yet be awestruck at the depth and baggage each one carries.
I definitely loved the book and would recommend this book.
Why you should read it?
I’ve got two reasons,
1. It’s Murakami
2. You don’t need a better reason that the first one!
Also, a bonus reason would be the fun you can have while listening to the music mentioned in the book while reading it! Oh, and I’m quite sure you’d fall in love with Norwegian Wood by the Beatles
I hope my take on Norwegian Wood did some justice to the book! Also, this being one of the firsts where I’m trying to pen down my thoughts about the book I’d really appreciate it if you let me know how this went and also I’d love to know how you felt about the book if you’ve read it!