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Norwegian Wood (1987)

by Haruki Murakami

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
16,134352318 (3.94)6 / 506
"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."--Back cover.… (more)
  1. 81
    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (philrafferty)
    philrafferty: Murakami's masterwork.
  2. 116
    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.
  3. 40
    1Q84 Book 1 by Haruki Murakami (jalonsoarevalo)
    jalonsoarevalo: MAravillosa recreación tomando como letmotiv el libro de Orwell 1984
  4. 10
    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. 10
    In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan (ursula)
    ursula: Murakami is influenced by Brautigan. Both are simple but weird tales of love and life.
  6. 00
    Who is Mr Satoshi? by Jonathan Lee (alzo)
  7. 11
    1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (PaulBerauer)
  8. 00
    Socrates In Love: Novel (Socrates in Love) by Kyoichi Katayama (alalba)
  9. 00
    The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (aprille)
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English (278)  Spanish (19)  Dutch (17)  Italian (7)  Catalan (5)  German (3)  French (3)  Swedish (3)  Norwegian (2)  Danish (2)  Hungarian (2)  Norwegian (Bokmål) (1)  Portuguese (1)  Hebrew (1)  Korean (1)  All languages (345)
Showing 1-5 of 278 (next | show all)
Some books will manage to bring up emotions you never knew you could feel. For me, it was this book. This book is special to me. ( )
  buddhawithan.n | Feb 29, 2024 |
This is my first reading of an Haruki Murakami book. I took it off the bookshelf because I was going to Kyoto, his birthplace, thinking it might give me some insight into what it was to be Japanese. I'm not sure if has but some of the details probably make more sense now that I've been there.

Speaking of details, it took me half the book to get used to (and enjoy) the minute levels of quotidian detail. But all the seeming irrelevant observation and inconsequential dialogue work towards a very leisurely pace and give plenty of space for nuanced reflection. The narrative is presented as a reflective exercise in memory prompted by hearing the Beatles eponymous song Norwegian Wood, I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me.... There a many musical references.

I see (in Goodreads) that there are many female readers who object to his portrayal of women and for this reason object to the book. In some respects (by today's standards) they have a point, but the narrative is set in 1969, and it's entirely appropriate that such a directionless, flâneur-like, character as Watanabe speaks and thinks the way he does.

I was interested to see if there would be deus ex machina as Murakami laid the ground for it, but in the end there wasn't one. This is a gentle book about love and loss and while at first I gave it 3 stars, on closing I've given it 4 because it kept me engaged to the end. ( )
  simonpockley | Feb 25, 2024 |
I was familiar with and love the quote from this book: "If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking." So I already knew Haruki Murakami could turn a phrase. I felt some resistance to Toru Watanabe's story in the early chapters of the book, but once I was caught in the web of the story of these many damaged people in his life, and his relative stoicism, his growth through confronting loss and grief, I was completely invested. Murakami is a masterful writer, creator of multiple complex and dimensional characters, and that quote above was only one of several I made note of. But I was also struck by how he used time travel -- not the supernatural kind, but simply having access to the narrator's thoughts or activities at different times in his life as a way to weave the pieces of the story tighter toward its resolution. First five star review I have given in a while. ( )
  bschweiger | Feb 4, 2024 |
I don’t see what all the hype around this book is, like yeah I guess it’s kinda sad and explores loss and sexuality but like I wasn’t really into all that. It was ok and picked up around the end but not by much. Overall I feel like there are better books out there that I wouldn’t really recommend reading this one, but also I haven’t read much of the authors other works. ( )
  Radar12378 | Nov 30, 2023 |
DNF
  rianainthestacks | Nov 5, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 278 (next | show all)
Menschen wie Toru Watanabe trifft man in allen Büchern von Haruki Murakami. Es sind Singles, die in ihren Apartments sitzen und sich alte Filme anschauen, die Miles Davis hören und Scotch dazu trinken. Das Schicksal hat Spuren in ihnen hinterlassen, so wie in Toru Watanabe, der mit Naoko die einzige wirkliche Liebe seines Lebens verloren hat. Aber diese Spuren sind wie Kratzer auf einer Schallplatte. Sie kehren regelmäßig wieder und jedes Mal wieder erschrickt man - auch wenn sich bereits nicht mehr so genau erinnern kann, bei welcher Gelegenheit man die Nadel einmal zu unvorsichtig aufgesetzt hat.
 

» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Amitrano, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chancer, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome 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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"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."--Back cover.

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