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Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood (original 1987; edition 2000)

by Haruki Murakami

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
10,615226269 (3.99)4 / 381
Title:Norwegian Wood
Authors:Haruki Murakami
Info:Vintage (2000), Paperback, 298 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, Japanese, magical realism

Work details

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (1987)

  1. 81
    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (philrafferty)
    philrafferty: Murakami's masterwork.
  2. 40
    1Q84 Book 1 by Haruki Murakami (jalonsoarevalo)
    jalonsoarevalo: MAravillosa recreación tomando como letmotiv el libro de Orwell 1984
  3. 85
    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
    In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan (ursula)
    ursula: Murakami is influenced by Brautigan. Both are simple but weird tales of love and life.
  5. 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
  6. 11
    1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (Kordo)
  7. 00
    Who is Mr Satoshi? by Jonathan Lee (alzo)
  8. 00
    Socrates In Love by Kyoichi Katayama (alalba)

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English (171)  Spanish (15)  Dutch (15)  Catalan (4)  Italian (4)  Swedish (4)  French (3)  German (2)  Hungarian (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Korean (1)  Portuguese (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (225)
Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
Really different than any of the other Murakami's I've read. Not my favorite of his but still a good read and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Full review will follow on the blog first then on here. ( )
  JenPrim | Jan 15, 2016 |
Norwegian Wood Haruki Murakami

Looking back on his students years in the late 1960's the narrator Watanbe tells his readers about how his life was divided between his love for 2 flawed girls.

Set amidst student uprisings, the pursuit of casual sex and the peace movement this is a story about growing up and discovering yourself.

Having just read The Catcher in the Rye I can see several places where this has influenced the story and indeed Watanbe refers to it a couple of times.

Normally I love Murakami's writing but for me this was missing the magic I found in his other stories (The Wind up Bird Chronicles and Kafka on the Shore it was also a bit too heavy on the details of sex between the characters.
( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
Ah Murakami, with your slightly surreal world, and your allegorical characters, and the random sex. I wasn't sure about this book at first, as Toru Watanabe reminisced, flashing back to his coming of age story. I felt the same disconnect I feel reading The Catcher in the Rye. But the meandering story became more compelling, as Toru deals with his increasingly disorganised life, and confronts difficult choices. Lots of references to western culture, and set against the student unrest of the late 60s. In the end it's a beautiful, thoughtful story. ( )
  evilmoose | Dec 14, 2015 |
4.5 out of 5, really. There is a part of me that resists giving this book full marks - but it is the same part of me that might resist diving fully into a relationship. There are some flaws here, but the flaws only serve to make the work more beautiful. At the same time, some of that beauty and those flaws leave the reader feeling open and longing for more. Not more in the sense of "you didn't give me enough" but rather "I want something else." Not unlike in a relationship, I suppose. And just like many good relationships, it has changed how I hear a certain song - but then, that song has always haunted me. Hasn't it you?

More at RB: http://ragingbiblioholism.com/2014/01/05/norwegian-wood/ ( )
  drewsof | Sep 30, 2015 |
More than storytelling, Murakami tells places, time, sound, smell, taste, and touch. ( )
  kg988 | Aug 26, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 171 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (56 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Elbrich FennemaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nolla, AlbertTranslatorsecondary 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.
Eu tinha trinta e sete anos e viajava, de cinto posto, no meu lugar enquanto o enorme 747 mergulhava através de uma densa cobertura de nuvens a aproximar-se do aeroporto de Hamburgo.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:09 -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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