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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage | [Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (translator)]

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (517 )
5 star
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4.1 (463 )
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Story
4.0 (463 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Robin Cohen 09-03-14
    Robin Cohen 09-03-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "subtly lovely and compassionate story"
    If you could sum up Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage in three words, what would they be?

    subtle, emotional, engrossing


    What three words best describe Bruce Locke’s performance?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    this was a really engaging and engrossing book... I'm really in love with Murakami's writing!

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela J United States 08-18-14
    Pamela J United States 08-18-14 Member Since 2014

    Sure, I'd love to hear your story....

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    "We're all victims of our youth"

    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.

    13 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 08-18-14
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 08-18-14

    "... there are times when silence is a poem." - John Fowles, the Magus ^(;,;)^

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just below the Surface"

    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.

    26 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 08-14-14
    David 08-14-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book ruined by the narration"
    How could the performance have been better?

    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.


    23 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Quintana 08-14-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Good story RUINED by horrible dialogue reading"
    What would have made Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage better?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tsukuru was interesting, except when we had to listen to his dialogue.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Bruce Locke’s performances?

    If he doesn't try an accent, I suppose so, but otherwise, not a chance.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    20 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 10-06-14
    Andrew 10-06-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Had to give up"

    I love Murakami, so I'll assume this is a good book. But the performer's reading of dialogue is appalling. The characters become swollen-tongued boobs, lumping from one disconnected statement to another.

    I had to return this very disappointing version, and will get one with a different narrator.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pretentious reader 08-13-14

    pretentious reader

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    "Why does the dialogue have an accent?"
    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He used a sort of Japanese dialect for the dialogue, which continually pulled me away from the story. Not sure if this was a producer's decision or even Mr. Murakami's... but it really sucked the listening pleasure of another wonderful novel by Mr. Murakami.

    Imagine Crime and Punishment where Raskolnikov and others have a Russian dialect in the dialogue and the narration does not. It makes sense in something like Ulysses, and Jim Norton is quite brilliant, but that is how the characters would have sounded in Ireland. I doubt very much that if I met Mr Murakami's characters in Tokyo, that they would be speaking English with a Japanese accent. I know where the story takes place; I don't need a dialect to help me see that the characters are Japanese.

    It's actually a bit offensive I would think. I'm Portuguese and think i'd be quite put off if a narrator were reading an English translation of a Saramago novel with a Portuguese dialect... Whatever that might be.


    16 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 08-15-14
    Tim United States 08-15-14 Member Since 2011

    I don't write book reports.

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    "No Fake Accent"

    I have to disagree with all of the negative reviews on Audible on the performance from Bruce Locke in "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage." I found his voice to be tolerable enough to finish the book. I would rather have his voice in my ears than an on screen actor piercing my eardrums with their fake Japanese accent. I don't understand why other reviewers are ranting about this so much. This was a decent recording of a great audiobook.

    As for Haruki Murakami and his latest attempt in "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage", I am very pleased with the entire story. If you can get over any homophobic tendencies that you may have, the story consist of wet dreams and reality.

    While some other reviewers has compare this book to Norwegian Wood, I see it in a different ballpark that Murakami played with. It reads more like a fouled up dream that you have been woken up to.

    "Did I really dream having a three some with another man and a girl?"

    I did not quite understand the whole deal with the Lexus dealership. That didn't make any sense to me. I also wished that Haruki Murakami would had elaborated more on the Death Token. I wanted to know more, but I have a feeling that the Death Token will reappear in the future.

    I bought this book as soon as it came out and very happy with the end result. I was excited that the book got translated and recorded into audio so quickly. I was jealous at my friend who can read Japanese when "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage" came out last year. She was right, I really enjoyed this one.

    I am a fan boy of Haruki Murakami. His style is so different from others. It's too bad that the publishers keep reissuing the same audiobooks over and over because my reviews for those titles are lost somewhere in Audible.

    Don't let this one slip by, base on bad reviews on the narrator.

    12 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danae Zytkoskee 07-22-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great story, irritating performance"
    Any additional comments?

    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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hae Yuon Kim Oakland, CA United States 06-12-15
    Hae Yuon Kim Oakland, CA United States 06-12-15 Member Since 2014

    haeyuon

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Seriously? Japanese accent really necessary?"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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