©1987 Haruki Murakami; (P)2005 Naxos Audiobooks
"Murakami tells a subtle, charming, profound, and very sexy story of young love bound for tragedy." (Publishers Weekly)
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.
Even the pronunciation of protagonist's name is wrong. I doubt if the narrator really understands the text.
No I wouldn't really want to change anything, it is what it is.
I don't think it should be changed. There is nothing wrong with it, it just wasn't for me.
I don't think I have listened to any other of his performances.
Beautifully read and wonderful story. Definitely holds one's attention. Will return to Murakami over and over and Chancer certainly did this one justice.
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.
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.
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.
"Start of something big?"
I'm not sure how I stumbled into Murakami - I think it was on the basis of a review or mention in the New Yorker magazine - and a quick look through the available titles on Audible. Having listened to Norwegian Wood I saw the recent BBC Imagine programme where the author refused to appear in person and his readers seemed strangely reluctant to break ranks and give their impressions of the books - other than to say they had established a personal relationship through reading and did not want to betray the 'trust' placed in them. Odd, odd, very odd. The website with its moody based doesn't seem to clear anything up - but it is the beauty and clarity of the prose that has captured me and seems to have entranced others around the world. Give it a try, get on board - you'll really enjoy the experience. The picture of Japan is bang up to date - it is the authentic voice of new Japan - the pictures of Kobe, Osaka and Tokyo similarly ring true. Other readers cite David Lynch - but the imagery is definitely Kar Wai Wong. The Japanese sensitivity may be breaking free of the corporate steam roller and we may see a new Chinese-wave - or he may just be a lone but powerful new voice.
"Peculiar but entertaining"
This is the second Marukami novel i have read, the first being The Wind-Up Bird which needless to say had me hooked, and sent me back to the beginnings of his work.
Norwegian Wood is a story of the coming of age of a college boy and his encounters with a variety of girls and women. The narrative was beautiful throughout but was interspersed with frequent sexualy explicit language or behaviour particulalry from the female characters which was unexpected and quite shocking but written in such a way as to be an obvious and open language and behaviour of persons of that age-group.
I did not enjoy this as much as The Wind Up Bird but am keen to continue reading Murakami as the prose is so expressive and distinctly surreal. I like his work very much
"A great introduction to Murakami"
I'm not sure what got me to listen to this book but I'm very glad I did. The writing and narration are both great and meant I would frequently make my journey home longer just to allow me to continue listening.
The story being told is a coming of age story set in Japan in the late 1960's. Reading the story almost feels like stepping back in time to when you were in your late teens, especially if you ever felt shy or depressed at the time with the characters feeling as though they are aimlessly drifting through life.
Despite being a Japanese novel though the author inserts a lot of Western references that helps to make everything easier to relate to. This is also one of the easiest Murakami books to get into if you are reading him for the first time as there are less fantastical elements than in his other books but it still contains everything else that makes his writing so great.
I've listened to it twice and the second time was just as enjoyable as the first and left me with the same feeling at the end where I felt both sad and uplifted at the same time.
John Chancer is an excellent reader of Murakami, to the point that i can't imagine him read anybody's else work. The novel is moving, funny and surprising in equal measure. I did not want it to end.
"worth a download!"
There's something special about Murakami's books and this one is where it all started for me. I had read this beautiful story before and decided to try out the audiobook. I enjoyed it greatly even if the voices of the female characters sounded a bit awkward at times. Overall, a great book and a very good reader nonetheless.
"A beautifully sad conversation."
I found this book enthralling from the very start. It seems more personal than most novels and as I listened I felt as though I were listing to story of a lifelong friend whose past I had never known about rather than a character in a book.Surely this is the type of story telling that every writer aspires to.
Awesome listen. Recommend this to all your friends. I enjoyed it very much. Great title. Good one for all users.
Testing Review. Test Test Test. This is an amazing title. You ought to listen and learn. Recommend it to others as well.
My first audio book I purchased from Audible and what a wonderful listen it was. The narration is excellent giving every character their own well-deserved persona. This is a book to get lost in on sunny afternoons, while running or taking a bike ride as I often did. I can't compare this to any other Murakami novel as it's my first but as a book in it's own right it is an extremely rewarding listen.
"An enjoyable journey, but not the best destination"
Having got totally hooked by Kafka on the Shore I felt compelled to dive straight into another Murakami listen. I couldn?t say that I enjoyed Norwegian Wood as much as Kafka, however there is something incredibly appealing and enchanting about his style that still meant I enjoyed this. It's basically a coming of age book with the main character being likened to Holden Caulfield by some although I personally wouldn?t go that far. I didn?t feel there was so much depth to this story and whilst what I love about Murakami is the fact you really have no idea where his stories are going unfortunately when this one ended although I know I enjoyed the journey I was still not entirely sure where it had taken me. So much so that I actually started it all over again to see if there was something I missed at the beginning. Unfortunately not, but that hasn?t deterred me from moving straight on to The Wind-up Bird Chronicle which 4 hours in I?m already finding to be closer to the depth and quality of Kafka. I can?t remember the last time I was this addicted to an author. One word of warning though if you?re easily offended then Norwegian Wood in particular has quite a bit more sexual content than some of his other novels and whilst I personally don?t think he does it in a particularly vulgar way, it could be off putting to someone of a delicate persuasion.
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