The new novel - a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan - from the internationally acclaimed author, his first since IQ84.
Here he gives us the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages.
©2014 Haruki Murakami (P)2014 Random House Audio
I don't understand why the publishers of Murakami's "Colorless Tsukuru..." decided that it was a good idea to have the actor speak in a heavy Japanese accent for all the dialogues in the audible book. Seriously effing annoying and maybe racist. I don't know if I can continue listening.
The story is intriguing, drifting slightly into magic realism, and generally explores the human condition. I was particularly drawn into themes of lost youth and friendship, and the notion that we see ourselves so much differently than that of the outside world. It was a bit slow at the start for me, but then I became enthralled. I HATED the accent used for dialogue. It was not only distracting, but felt absurd. In particular, it added an air of discomfort to the characters, as we are not in our true comfort zone when speaking a second language and the accent lends this feeling. Whoever came up with that idea needs to revaluate the move. Still, accent aside, it was worth my one monthly credit for sure!
The more you love books... the more books you love!
Unfortunate that the narrator chose to use Japanese accents for the main characters. It made them sound stiff and wooden and fer chrissakes, I KNOW they're Japanese, thanks. The Japanese accent sounded inauthentic too, sometimes veering into what sounded like German.
Otherwise narration was great. He even did a good Finnish accent.
The narrator has the worst fake Japanese accent. Sounds more like the old racist Charlie Chan movies. It was astoundingly bad. There was absolutely no need for that fake accent. It was as though the narraration was making fun of Murakami being Japanese. I stopped listening because it was so distracting to the story. Why didn't anyone else notice ? Amazing. As a Japanese I felt insulted.
A big fan of Muruakami - so I love it all.
The accents used in the narration our horrible. Sorry, but no other word to use. I'm having a hard time finishing the book, which I'm sure I would have loved otherwise.
Please do not use those voice accents ever again. Thank you.
subtle, emotional, engrossing
Generally I liked Bruce Locke's performance, when he is narrating in his own voice. He seemed to have the right point of view and voice. HOWEVER, as did many other reviewers, I really struggled with his choice of narration style for the dialogue. In real life, when two Japanese people speak to each other in Japan, they are not trying to speak in a foreign language, so they don't have accents that derive from trying to pronounce words (English words), that are not natural for them. So I spent much time wondering WHY Bruce Locke would choose to make them sound like they were trying to speak English to each other. I was often distracted by the dialogue, as it is quite strange to hear this ridiculous dialect where it didn't belong. If the story involved some American people, in America, having a conversation with a Japanese person, it would make sense (perhaps) to have the Japanese person sound like that. But Japanese people don't have accents when speaking to each other, as far as I know, because they are not pronouncing English words to each other.
this was a really engaging and engrossing book... I'm really in love with Murakami's writing!
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
A brilliant reminder of how each stage of our lives sets us up for the next one, I found this Murakami as challenging and ultimately satisfying as all the rest: which is to say, when it's over you find yourself saying this can't be the end. This book is in desperate need of a book club so you can talk through what the small tangent tales say about the main story line.
This is a great introduction of a brilliant author - - despite the off-putting accent the narrator adopts when the characters are speaking. I haven't a CLUE why this was done, but it feels uncomfortable at best and racist as worse. If you can get past that, the story itself is almost like a young adult book reminding us of how it feels to be young, vulnerable, and so at the mercy of the friends who you adopt as family.
But, if you don't enjoy tangents, the occasional mystical thread, or if you need a beginning, middle, and end to be happy, probably not the book for you. If want to let go, think hard, and ride the fantasy train, enjoy.
Whoever directed this audiobook was out of touch with the spirit of Murikami's message. The reader is to take on Tsukuru's life, to become him and travel through his story. This is the way all Murikami books are meant to be read; and to produce an audiobook for English speaking audiences but narrate it with an accent creates a barrier between the reader and the character. Be warned, it isn't good. The narrator sounds board and flat and with the accent it really clashes with what we (the Murikami fan's) expect. My advice, skip the audiobook and read this one.
But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - J.D. Salinger ^(;,;)^
A slow soak in a bath of music, color, friends, loneliness, philosophy, creation and death. Murakami is a genius at writing with emotions swirling beneath the text. He gets the importance of the notes AND the silence of prose; of the unsaid, dreamy place that is both recognized and strange.
This isn't his most exciting work, but it is clearly not a throw-away either. It brings all the usual suspects to the Murakami table. Murakami writes best when he makes the reader feel like they are just near the surface of wakefulness. He bends the reader into a zone where it feels like a strange contractive tendency of the surface between sleep and wakefulness between musical, lucid dreams and surreal, philosophical nightmares.
It feels like you are balancing blind on the edge of a train platform; you feel the sound of the train and feel the compression of his words, but don't know if the Murakami train is going to hit you from the left or the right.
The narrator should have read the dialogue with the same voice he read the exposition. As it is, this is a horrible recording. I'm returning it. I have all the other Murakami audiobooks and they are great listening experiences. For some bizarre reason, someone thought it was a good idea to have the dialogue spoken in an accent that I guess was supposed to be Japanese, and yet sounded like no one I've ever heard in my 47 years on earth.
Tsukuru was interesting, except when we had to listen to his dialogue.
If he doesn't try an accent, I suppose so, but otherwise, not a chance.
You endure the dialogue rather than enjoy it. Frankly, having the narrator speak in this dialect is one of the stupidest decisions in audiobooks history. The story might in fact be better than 4 stars, but, due to how terrible this listening experience was, there's no way I can give it a 5.
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