Norwegian Wood

Narrated by: John Chancer
Length: 13 hrs and 21 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1,266 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Stunning and elegiac, Norwegian Wood first propelled Haruki Murakami into the forefront of the literary scene.

Toru, a 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. As Naoko retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman. 

A magnificent coming-of-age story steeped in nostalgia, Norwegian Wood blends the music, the mood, and the ethos that were the '60s with a young man’s hopeless and heroic first love. 

©1987 Haruki Murakami (P)2013 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“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)
What members say
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Beautiful, Wistful...

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.

10 people found this helpful

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Sorry, but I didn't like the narrator.

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.

18 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not up to usually high Murakami standards

Poorly read. Improper pronunciation of Japanese names. Inappropriate inflection. Glacially slowly developed plot. I expected much more of Murakami. I'm quite disappointed.

10 people found this helpful

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great book, and great reading

this is very dfferent from other murakami novels, there's not so much imagination and absurdness to it but the concreteness of it is nice. still I feel it compliments murakamis other work quite well. would recommend to anyone interested in his work.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good and compelling in places but slow.

I liked it but didn't love it. A great audio performance and an interesting story. But despite some moving parts the story is slow and a tad dull.

4 people found this helpful

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To others readers out there

To truly understand and enjoy this book knowing about the post war writings of Japan, existentialism, and Sartre would help. The writing is beautiful but the plot can be confusing at times because it focuses on the philosophy and post war styling. Still it's a good read.

8 people found this helpful

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Narrator: no clue how to pronounce Japanese names

I have enjoyed every other Murakami novel I've read. I'm not quite sure where this one was going, but basically I couldn't stand the narration. It was so wrong, including the fact that he had no clue whatsoever how to pronounce the Japanese names and that was so distracting.

Pronouncing Japanese words is really not difficult, and surely he could have learned or else they could have used a different narrator.

This one is going back, unfortunately.

12 people found this helpful

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Treasured experience

Murakami's brilliant Norwegian Wood made me feel throughout the book as if everything inside of my skin had been scraped and gutted out leaving me empty. I feel a great appreciation for the world created within Norwegian Wood and even feel as if I have become a better person because I made it through the book. Fantastic characters pulled me into thoughts that were so compelling and engaging.

The narrator for the most part did a basically good job but being third generation American Japanese, wow, when he repeatedly totally mangled simple Japanese names, it was so painful. Midori is pronounced Me do (long "o" as in door) ri. The narrator would say: me-der-ree with a rapid pace, wow. When reading the Midori character's words as portrayed by the narrator, I could barely handle it and even looked up the free online PDF text so I could be spared the way in which the narrator did Midori.


Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated my experience of listening to Norwegian Wood on Audible.

2 people found this helpful

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This Bird Has Flown

I'm a little conflicted about 'Norwegian Wood.' I love Murakami and I think I get what Murakami was trying to say (at least partially) in this novel. I was just a little too bored and too disinterested to find myself caring about the novel. I finished it, just to have finished it, and kinda felt that Murakami might have felt the same way after writing it. By the end, I was almost begging for some Japanese 'Deus ex Machina' to suddenly appear and rescue me from the plastic bag-like suffocation of the life and death narrative. Ugh.

That all said, perhaps it really is me and not you with this one Murakami.

2 people found this helpful

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eh

Not at all what I was expecting of Murakami's writing, trying not to let it deter me from other books, as this was my first of his. I have since read up on this piece since finishing it and discovered even the author was not as delighted as audiences have raved on this novel.

2 people found this helpful