This stunning and elegiac novel by the author of the internationally acclaimed Wind-Up Bird Chronicle has sold over 4 million copies in Japan and is now available to American audiences for the first time. It is sure to be a literary event.
Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.
A poignant story of one college student's romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man's first, hopeless, and heroic love.
©1987 Haruki Murakami (P)2013 Random House Audio
“A masterly novel. . . . Norwegian Wood bears the unmistakable marks of Murakami’s hand.” (The New York Times Book Review)
“Norwegian Wood . . . not only points to but manifests the author’s genius.” (Chicago Tribune)
“[A] treat . . . Murakami captures the heartbeat of his generation and draws the reader in so completely you mourn when the story is done.” (The Baltimore Sun)
College English professor who loves classic literature, psychology, neurology and hates pop trash like Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey.
tale of love and strained devotions not nearly as popular as it should be. Quiet, lyrical, subdued, this novel draws you into the world of the agonies and joys of loving. Simply a great read.
The narrator's female voice was annoying. Also, he missed the correct inflection at times. I wish I would've read this book instead of listen. With Murakami's books, I will read instead, I'll listen to more mainstream authors on Audible.
If this was the first Murakami novel I had ever read, I would never have read anything else he had written. This was clearly written before Murakami figured out his writing style, because this lacks both the amazing storytelling and wonderful prose in his later work.
Whereas Kafka on the Shore & the Windup Bird Chronicle sucked you in and played with your soul, this novel was droll at best. I think I spent the entire novel waiting for a sparkling line of prose or one interesting thing done by any of the characters. Didn't happen.
Someone who was sounded 19. Having someone who sounds as old as ... me ... reading a book about teenage angst (is that was it was about?) ... is just ... inappropriate.
All of them. Sorry. It was awful.
If anyone understands the ending, please write to explain it. Thanks.
World Champion Parallel Parker
This book seems to be written by a different author than Murakami. It is depressed and dull from the beginning and I tried very hard to listen to the whole - I took it through several lengthy traffic jams - but ultimately gave up, so I don't know if there was ever a plot.
To me the characters felt a bit too depressed and unmoved to make for an interesting story. Different from many other murakami books, like 1q84 or even Kafka on the shore, which feature unique and interesting characters
Haruki Murakami is one of the most interesting writers I've had the good fortune to be exposed to. Norwegian Wood is NOT my favourite and by no means gives the listener the full picture of his ability to create worlds where the tricks of thinking become a reality played out with excruciating intensity. The novel gives you an idea though and is well worth a listen to get the idea.
More Murakami please Audible!
This is my fourth murakami novel. Everything I enjoy about Murakami is missing from this book. If you enjoy reading awkward sex scenes, this book is for you. If you want something with more substance, go read Windup Bird Chronicles
I don't normally write reviews but this narrator was so bad I had to say something. This man must have never heard a Japanese person speak. One character is a smooth-talking, diplomatic, ladies' man but the narrator makes him sound like a lifetime smoking, grizzled mechanic. For certain female characters he speaks very high pitched and fast, making them sound airheaded and ditzy. I percerviered through the book because of my faith in Murakami and I paid for it, but the narrator made me want to quit.
This is more like 3.5 stars. When I was 18 or 19, this book was worth 4.5 stars--it floored me. 7 years later, it's still quite good and emotionally affecting, but I left it a little colder. I could tell there were certain parts that were supposed to have an impact on me that just didn't work for me as an "adult". I have never completely connected to the Naoko character, and I found Watanabe's character much more selfish on my second read (I suppose this probably implies that I was kind of selfish when I was 19).
Also, I listened to the audiobook and found the guy reading it to be annoying--his voices for Midori, Naoko, and Nagasaki were all pretty terrible.
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