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Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
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Norwegian Wood (1987)

by Haruki Murakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,685200298 (4.01)4 / 320
  1. 81
    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (philrafferty)
    philrafferty: Murakami's masterwork.
  2. 40
    1Q84 Book 1 & 2 by Haruki Murakami (jalonsoarevalo)
    jalonsoarevalo: MAravillosa recreación tomando como letmotiv el libro de Orwell 1984
  3. 75
    The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger (hippietrail, Jannes)
    Jannes: Many interesting parallells, and the protagonist of Norwegian Wood compares himself with Holden Caulfield from Catcher on several occations.
  4. 00
    Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Lex23)
    Lex23: Both books beautifully describe a difficult relationship between a man and a woman with a psychiatric background
  5. 00
    Socrates In Love by Kyoichi Katayama (alalba)
  6. 11
    1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (Kordo)
  7. 00
    Who is Mr Satoshi? by Jonathan Lee (alzo)
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English (150)  Spanish (14)  Dutch (13)  Swedish (4)  Catalan (4)  Italian (3)  French (3)  German (2)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Korean (1)  Portuguese (1)  Hebrew (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (199)
Showing 1-5 of 150 (next | show all)
The descriptions from this book leave such a good impression. I loved how intricately everything was portrayed, so that made it fun to read.

The downside though is that he's rather too descriptive on many things. Too much for my taste. And it's also quite a depressing book, so keep that in mind. ( )
  kbeihl | Apr 11, 2014 |
Excellent ( )
  lloyd1175 | Mar 22, 2014 |
In this book Murakami expounds on the imperfections of us all and demonstrates that no matter how much we try not to hurt the people we love that we can inadvertently end up doing the very thing we do not want to do. This is not a book for the vulnerable but it is about the vulnerable and, if one agrees with my interpretation of Murakami’s work, we are all vulnerable.

The themes tackled in this book are heavy. They include the effect of suicide on those left behind; coping with the illness and death of a close relative; first love; mental illness; self-loathing and self-criticism; coming of age; a sense of duty to the dead; misunderstandings between loved ones. There is much in this book that will make it a difficult read for many but, for those able and willing to take up the challenge, it is a rewarding read.

Jay Rubin obviously did an excellent job with the translation as the only clues to its being a translation are the words in the book identifying the translator and the knowledge that Murakami writes in Japanese. I always believe that the more inconspicuous the presence of a translator in a work the greater is the skill of that translator. ( )
  pgmcc | Mar 15, 2014 |
I tried. I wanted to like it. I wanted to read the whole book and say "Yes, I understand now why so many love this author." Nope. I gave it about 60 pages... more than fair. I found it boring. I didn't care about any of the characters. Maybe... maybe, I'll try a different Murakami.
  CaliSoleil | Mar 5, 2014 |
Beautifully sad and nostalgic. Touching and well-paced. An examination of loss and maturity. ( )
  blanderson | Mar 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 150 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (58 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Elbrich FennemaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porta, LourdesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rubin, JayTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Many Fêtes
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I was 37 then, strapped in my seat as the huge 747 plunged through dense cloud cover on approach to Hamburg airport.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375704027, Paperback)

In 1987, when Norwegian Wood was first published in Japan, it promptly sold more than 4 million copies and transformed Haruki Murakami into a pop-culture icon. The horrified author fled his native land for Europe and the United States, returning only in 1995, by which time the celebrity spotlight had found some fresher targets. And now he's finally authorized a translation for the English-speaking audience, turning to the estimable Jay Rubin, who did a fine job with his big-canvas production The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Readers of Murakami's later work will discover an affecting if atypical novel, and while the author himself has denied the book's autobiographical import--"If I had simply written the literal truth of my own life, the novel would have been no more than fifteen pages long"--it's hard not to read as at least a partial portrait of the artist as a young man.

Norwegian Wood is a simple coming-of-age tale, primarily set in 1969-70, when the author was attending university. The political upheavals and student strikes of the period form the novel's backdrop. But the focus here is the young Watanabe's love affairs, and the pain and pleasure and attendant losses of growing up. The collapse of a romance (and this is one among many!) leaves him in a metaphysical shambles:

I read Naoko's letter again and again, and each time I read it I would be filled with the same unbearable sadness I used to feel whenever Naoko stared into my eyes. I had no way to deal with it, no place I could take it to or hide it away. Like the wind passing over my body, it had neither shape nor weight, nor could I wrap myself in it.
This account of a young man's sentimental education sometimes reads like a cross between Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar and Stephen Vizinczey's In Praise of Older Women. It is less complex and perhaps ultimately less satisfying than Murakami's other, more allegorical work. Still, Norwegian Wood captures the huge expectation of youth--and of this particular time in history--for the future and for the place of love in it. It is also a work saturated with sadness, an emotion that can sometimes cripple a novel but which here merely underscores its youthful poignancy. --Mark Thwaite

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:52 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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."-- Cover.… (more)

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