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Norwegian Wood Audiobook

Norwegian Wood

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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

4.2 (234 )
5 star
 (112)
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3 star
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Overall
4.2 (162 )
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Story
4.3 (158 )
5 star
 (79)
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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  •  
    Tim Br|hlGermany 04-03-06
    Tim Br|hlGermany 04-03-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    134
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    338
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
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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
  •  
    E. Y. Bae Sydney 12-21-15
    E. Y. Bae Sydney 12-21-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great for the long drives"
    Would you listen to Norwegian Wood again? Why?

    Just a very well written (spoken!) book. Easy to get into, has subtle depth and has a story and premise that I think everyone can relate to.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Norwegian Wood?

    The relationship analysis that the main character describes and his whole journey. Almost like Catcher in the Rye.


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

    I have never listened to John Chancer before but his voice acting made this thoroughly enjoyable, especially the voice of Midori.


    If you could take any character from Norwegian Wood out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Midori, she's so fun and spontaneous!


    Any additional comments?

    The funny thing is a lot of financially successful people I know loath this book and think it's a waste of time, I guess this book is for the dreamers out there.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arne-Michae Trondheim, Norway 03-29-11
    Arne-Michae Trondheim, Norway 03-29-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    94
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yunsook Jersey City , NJ, USA 06-01-08
    Yunsook Jersey City , NJ, USA 06-01-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    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
  •  
    Yiyun Shanghai 04-17-17
    Yiyun Shanghai 04-17-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrific"

    I have to write something about this book. I love this book. I read it in Chinese 20 years ago and Japanese 10 years ago, and now I heard through the wonderful English version. The narrator's voice is so soothing. Each scene arise so vividly. Can't ask for more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claire 09-16-14
    Claire 09-16-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    83
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautifully written, awfully read"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    A lovely book, modern and magical at the same time. However, the way the narrator mispronounces all the Japanese words drives me mad.


    What other book might you compare Norwegian Wood to and why?

    Never let me go


    What didn’t you like about John Chancer’s performance?

    Doesn't pronounce any of the character's names correctly. Japanese has a very specific pronunciation for each letter - so this can't be argued.


    Was Norwegian Wood worth the listening time?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Åhman Spånga, Sweden 01-30-13
    Robin Åhman Spånga, Sweden 01-30-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    84
    47
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    0
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    Overall
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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
  •  
    Hanna Mount Eliza, Australia 12-13-12
    Hanna Mount Eliza, Australia 12-13-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    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
  •  
    Jason Yim Edmond, OK 12-15-10
    Jason Yim Edmond, OK 12-15-10
    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
  •  
    Marius Irene, South Africa 05-16-08
    Marius Irene, South Africa 05-16-08 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    555
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    186
    115
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    22
    0
    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
Sort by:
  • B O'Donnell B
    Kent, UK
    8/3/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful novel with clear narration"
    Any additional comments?

    It is a beautiful story, using very simple language making it easy to follow on a hectic commute.

    The narration by John Chancer is very playful, listenable and clear. However, the translation uses many English colloquialisms, which can sound slightly awkward when spoken in an American accent and hence could only be improved with British narration instead.

    Highly recommend regardless.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A. D. Hall
    UK
    7/1/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful"

    Another beautifully written book by Haruki Murakami. I love his style. The characters and story are all believable. Very natural. A sad tale of Love, Life, Friendship and death.
    The narrator is perfect for this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • yue
    Stockton-on-tees, United Kingdom
    4/14/13
    Overall
    "good"

    nice audio, appropriate reading speed with clear sound. I have read the book already, the audio can substitute book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lal-Akash
    London, United Kingdom
    1/1/11
    Overall
    "Good book, reading not to my taste"

    I enjoyed the book despite not liking the portrayal of some of the characters by the reader and I found some of the expression a bit repetitive.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Helen
    Germany
    12/20/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Coming of age?"

    I was just flat out bored with this book a lot of the time and sometimes even unnerved. Only smal parts were interesting to me. I skipped great parts after half the book was over, especially because I didn't care about the characters (oh, they were all so very special....) and the story wasn't very likely either. Maybe coming of age stories are just not for me so melodramatic about little things..... And at the same times real tragedies are read (maybe it was not only the book, but the reader as well) like unimportant .....

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Carrie
    Galway, Ireland
    5/3/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not my Cup of tea"

    This book is beautiful written but I didnt like it at all, I've heard great things about it but nothing much happened in this story and I think I need an ounce of joy in a book and this was quite miserable.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • muovikassi88
    3/25/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An wonderful experience"

    I had put off reading murakami for a long time because I had heard of how weird his work supposedly was, but man am I glad to have read/listened to this book, this was also my first book on audible and the performance was fantastic, I actually vividly visualised much of the book while listening to it, with my eyes closed, an experience I have never had before, but have since learned replicate even while reading the traditional way. The story itself wasn't weird at all, all the characters were inmensely relateable, I found myself both crying and laughing several times with this book. I am absolutely delighted, a warm thank you to audible, and I will be reading to all the works of mr Murakami.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • sanyamksaxena
    10/27/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "well written and narrated"

    Lacks depth of plot or climax. Goes well for a casual reading. I will read another of Murakami before making my final impression about his writing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anita Fronczak
    Warsaw, Poland
    10/5/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Overly sentimental"

    The story was overly sentimental. Young people in this book were very emotionaly instable, even for their age. It made it hard to believe in the story and to follow the plot. Also I do not think the book accurately depicts youth. The narrator was good, but I did not enjoy violin music in between the chapters. It felt old and cheesy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dr Nils Muhlert
    4/16/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Natural sexuality with feminist thinking and a complex storyline"

    I was given this book by my son and had always to have time to read it.
    It is an account of the transition from teenage to adulthood of a thoughtful Japanese man, detailing his relationships with other males and principally females. Teenage suicides are always sad losses to family and friends and provide points of focus for the text which ambled along.
    However there are quite a few erotic passages which would not be acceptable

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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