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Norwegian Wood | [Haruki Murakami]

Norwegian Wood

Toru Watanabe, approaching middle age, hears The Beatles song "Norwegian Wood" in an airplane and, with Proustian vividness, it transports him back to his student days in Japan with Naoko, Midori, and Storm Trooper.
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Publisher's Summary

Toru Watanabe, approaching middle age, hears The Beatles song "Norwegian Wood" in an airplane and, with Proustian vividness, it transports him back to his student days in Japan with Naoko, Midori, and Storm Trooper.

©1987 Haruki Murakami; (P)2005 Naxos Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"Murakami tells a subtle, charming, profound, and very sexy story of young love bound for tragedy." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (127 )
5 star
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4.2 (61 )
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4.3 (57 )
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Performance
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  •  
    04-03-06
    04-03-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    121
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    338
    29
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    Overall
    "Wistful, magical, poetic, touching"

    Like all of Murakimi's works this is a book you never want to put down. It's not so much the story itself, which is as wonderful and unexpected as always, but the pleasure of spending time in Murakami's world and being able to see through his eyes. He has an almost magical ability to make anything he describes fascinating, touching and deeply enlightening.

    My only minor quibble was that although the reader was perfectly good the book would have deserved much better narration, with clearer dramatic personification of the individual characters. This really isn't a criticism of this reader, I've just been spoiled recently by truly superlative readers like Simon Prebble.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-01-08
    06-01-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "narration is too far from satisfaction"

    Even the pronunciation of protagonist's name is wrong. I doubt if the narrator really understands the text.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    01-30-13
    01-30-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    28
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    0
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    "Not my favorite Murakami"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    No I wouldn't really want to change anything, it is what it is.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I don't think it should be changed. There is nothing wrong with it, it just wasn't for me.


    Have you listened to any of John Chancer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I don't think I have listened to any other of his performances.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    12-13-12
    12-13-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Perfect first time"

    Beautifully read and wonderful story. Definitely holds one's attention. Will return to Murakami over and over and Chancer certainly did this one justice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    03-29-11
    03-29-11 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    91
    1
    Overall
    "Wonderful book."

    I saw the movie version last weekend and really liked it. Discussed it a lot with my regular cinema buddy. But I'm really glad I bought this audiobook. It's so much deeper. And what a great description of the late 60's in Japan.
    And the way the protagonist uses senses to evoke memories, just amazing!
    It's deeply felt, but not too sentimental.
    I know I'm gushing, but this book really touched me.
    Loved how each chapter had a musical interlude.
    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    12-15-10
    12-15-10 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    "The first novel I found something beyond."

    Through this novel written by Haruki Murakami, I found myself liking reading novels in 15 years ago. Also this novel is the first audio book I bought 5 years ago and have enjoyed it since then.

    The narrator's voice and reading habit is especially great for me to hear the novel through. 'So great' is what I wanna say about this novel, this author, and this narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    05-16-08
    05-16-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    487
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    186
    115
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    16
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    Overall
    "This bird has flown ..."

    Norwegian Wood is the second Murakami book I have enjoyed (the first being Kafka on the Shore). While I marginally preferred "Kafka" this one was well worth listening to. Both books intersperse relative normality with weirdness, tending to involve introspective characters, music and dreams, lust and romance, forests and cityscapes. When you need a break from thrillers, biographies, politics and comedy, Murakami's works provide a welcome change of landscape and pace. My advice, though, is to absorb his works slowly, with long intervals between, to avoid them cloying. The narrator, John Chancer, suits the book exactly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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