The epilogue to Norwegian Wood tells the listener that Murakami wanted to try out a new genre and tested his skills with a love story. He did an excellent job. The style of writing and the character development are very different from his other stories - and there is nothing strange or unusual to cope with. The main characters are well developed: thoughtful, reserved, and introspective. At the same time, there are free wheeling extroverts that will defy stereotypes that some might hold about the Japanese. The story also provides insights into Japanese culture of the era and you will learn that young Japanese of the time are no different than their contemporaries in other countries (e.g., they were very interested in popular Western music and had active sex lives without all of the baggage that accompanies the sexual evolution of youth in the West). An excellent story and a different side of Murakami.
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