Norwegian Wood
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Norwegian Wood

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4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  117,212 ratings  ·  6,641 reviews
First American Publication

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...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published September 12th 2000 by Vintage Books (first published 1987)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ian Paganus
Twenty Revolutions

My most feared birthday was my 20th.

For people older than me, the most significant birthday was their 21st.

But when the age of legal adulthood was reduced to 18, turning 21 no longer had the same significance it once had.

Before then, you could be conscripted into the armed forces at 18, but you could not drink alcohol until you turned 21.

So, if you were old enough to die for your country, surely you were old enough to have a drink?

Either way, turning 20 for me meant that I had...more
Yulia
How this book became one of Murakami's most famous and popular baffles me. In fact, when asked about it in an interview, Murakami himself said that he was puzzled by its popularity and that it really isn't what he wants to be known for.

What can I say? There's too little of the characters that do spark my interest and much too much of the depressive girlfriend and her kooky friend at the mental institution. Also, the scenes which were supposed to be funny about his college roommate didn't intere...more
Bel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nandakishore Varma
I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me...
She showed me her room, isn't it good, Norwegian wood?

She asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere,
So I looked around and I noticed there wasn't a chair.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
We talked until two and then she said, "It's time for bed"

She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh.
I told her I didn't and crawled off to sleep in the bath

And when I awoke, I was alone, this bird had flown
So I lit
...more
Kristin
I can't explain it! I want to inhale the pages of this book, grind them up, and snort them right up my nose! I want in placed directly in my brain, my very Bloodstream! Murakami's words make me feel just like Nicole Kidman in that scene in Moulin Rouge where she is rolling around on that fur rug in her negligee, moaning and writhing in pleasure and saying 'Yes! Yes! Dirty words! More! More! Naughty words!' Although Murakami's words aren't so much naughty and dirty as they are prismatic and myste...more
Lou
This Story is on one side a story of misadventure and a melancholic exploration of adolescent love and another side a thought-provoking and poignant study of memory, morality and mortality. Murakami never disappoints and always writes with a poetic richness that leaves almost every line hanging with symbolic possibility, loved it!
The main protagonist takes you back to the 1960s and his youthful goings on with his peers, his adventures are steamy so comes with adult warning! The story is set in...more
Katherine
This is supposed to be Murakami's "normal" novel, the one you can give your friends who aren't ready to deal with house-husbands facing their subconscious at the bottom of a well or with doppelgangers trapped in ferris wheels.

The story begins with Toru and Naoko, a pair of painfully shy students whose relationship is always overshadowed by the suicide of their mutual friend many years ago. While Naoko retreats further into herself and her unhappiness, Toru slowly and unconsciously decides to say...more
Rajat Ubhaykar
“That song can make me feel so sad,” said Naoko. “I don't know, I guess I imagine myself wandering in a deep wood. I'm all alone and it's cold and dark, and nobody comes to save me. That's why Reiko never plays it unless I request it.”
- Naoko about Norwegian Wood

“It makes me feel like I'm in a big meadow in a soft rain.”
- Naoko about Michelle.

“Thinking back on the year 1969, all that comes to mind for me is a swamp - a deep, sticky bog that feels as if it's going to suck off my shoe each time
...more
Joel
This is apparently the Murakami book that "everyone" in Japan has read, and disaffected protagonist Toru Watanabe is apparently a Holden Caulfield-esque figure for a lot of Japanese youth. To me, though, the book less reflects Catcher in the Rye than it predicts Zach Braff's Garden State, an ode to a time in life when the big choices seem so big that you don't end up making them at all, and find yourself instead drawn to the safety and comfort of nostalgia and memory.

Though it's set in Japan, an...more
MJ Nicholls
Apr 05, 2012 MJ Nicholls marked it as dropped  ·  review of another edition
Question: How much Norwegian Wood would a Norwegian woodchuck chuck if a Norwegian woodchuck could chuck Norwegian Wood? Answer: The same amount as a Swedish woodchuck. So I read 160 pages of this novel. Then I hit a four-day Reader’s Block (also precipitated by problems in my personal life, but I’ll save those for Oprah) and read nothing. I called a librarian and explained the problem. She suggested I undergo an intense course of Murakami Avoidance Therapy (MAT), whereby I put down all Murakami...more
Kedar
The Beginning heralds the end. The End initiates a beginning. In between lies a cycle. A cycle where words rain, feelings gush like a river towards the ocean called life, and the ocean hides the abyss of uncertainty. You just sway along this journey, along with Murakami.

"Here comes the sun, and I say It's all right"

Sometimes when you are sitting in peace, ensconced in the metaphorical warmth of a house and you hear the clock chime, making you realize that the time is running fast. It saddens you...more
Connie
Great ending. This sure was the saddest book I've ever read. Seems very dark and depressing, but the light comes out at the very end and you can see the sunshine through the clouds. I've never read a book like this and to be honest, I'm not sure I ever want to read another one. It just takes a piece of you and leaves you feeling a little empty. I don't even know how to explain it. It's like traveling up a mountainside on a dark gray day. Yes, the beauty is still there, but you have to look for i...more
Malbadeen
Jul 07, 2008 Malbadeen rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ego tripping, fantasy dwelling men
UGH!!!
This book bugged the hell out of me for a few reasons:
#1. There is a somewhat extended passage devoted to a lesbian encounter that wouldn't be so terrible in and of itself, as sex in general is a major topic BUT the novel as a whole leaned towards describing the physiological experience the woman were having and would brush over the mens again and again. There would be like 5 paragraphs on the woman and then 1 sentence were it would say something along the lines of, "she took me in her han...more
Weinz
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate
Book Review: Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood (Vintage, London, 2000)

I have never been good at reading translations. It's always in the back of my mind that what I'm reading is not the piece in its original forms: it is not how the author originally wished it to be presented. I don't know, therefore, whether it is to Murakami or Norwegian Wood's translator Jay Rubin who I should give the credit for keeping me thoroughly engaged with this one.

I immediately connected to Toru, the narrator and prota...more
Garima
I am a brand new Haruki Murakami’s fan and having read Kafka on the Shore as my first novel written by him, I found myself gripped under the surreal and unimaginable experience his writing provided to me as a reader. And that intrigued me to read another of his famous novels, Norwegian Wood. Before reviewing or rather I would say giving my naïve opinion on this book, I better start with my assumptions w.r.t this book.

When we read someone like him, we start expecting something new and better eve...more
Cory
Jan 09, 2012 Cory rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Devote Fans of Murakami and Passive, Pretentious Assholes
Goddammit. I really wanted to hate this book. There's so much about it that I abhor, but I can't bring myself to give it less than three stars.

Sometimes, I joke with my sister that she needs to expand her character repertoire. Usually, her stories feature a nerdy, lonely, odd teenage boy who's hopelessly in love with a girl, usually a manic pixie, who'll never have him. That boy spends most of his time staring at the girl, wondering if she likes another guy, complaining about how she treats him...more
Samadrita
Sadness is indeed a very complicated emotion. It has the uncanny ability of dissolving the edges of reality surrounding you and immersing you completely in an alternate world, where only you and that feeling exist together in complete harmony. And nothing else matters. You luxuriate in the richness of its beauty and marvel at the tranquility it offers you.
Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood evokes exactly similar kind of emotions in the reader.

There are some books you read, which leave you with sto...more
Astrid Reza
Clenched Soul

We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.

I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.

Sometimes a piece of sun
burned like a coin in my hand.

I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.

Where were you then?
Who else was there?
Saying what?
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?

The book fell that always close...more
Megha
I had started out thinking that at its heart this book was a love story. But it is about so much more than that - love, coming-of-age, death, loss and sorrow. Murakami does an amazing job at putting complicated feelings into words. I loved how he keeps reminding one of the simplest pleasures of life all along the story - beauty of the sunset, walking on a moonlit path, smell of the coffee, freshness of a spring day, caress of a gentle breeze and of course music. It is only fair to give a part of...more
Sophia.


Turns out I can't find a SINGLE fuck to give. It takes forever to start, the characters are bland and absolutely unrealistic, they don't sound real, the sex is so unhealthy and weird and awkward, the narrator is pretentious as fuck, the dialogues are painful, and the plot -- huh, wait, there's no plot.

So yeah. Big, fat DNF.
Algernon

I straightened up and looked out the plane window at the dark clouds hanging over the North Sea, thinking of what I had lost in the course of my life: times gone forever, friends who had died or disappeared, feelings I would never know again.

I almost stopped reading after this maudlin and downbeat opening passage. There are doors that I have kept close for years, memories of my own I thought are better left alone there, regrets and lost connections with people that were at one time the most im...more
Seth Hahne
Having read Kafka on the Shore, Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, After the Quake, and Sputnik Sweetheart, I decided it was high time I read the novel that really put Haruki Murakami on the Map of Superstardom. Norwegian Wood, by all accounts, was the work that made his later triumphs possible. Still, I approached the work guardedly, recognizing that popularity and quality rarely go with hands clasped in loving security.

In short, my fears were deftly allayed.

Norwegian Wood, while boasting none of that sur...more
K.D. Absolutely
This is my 11th time to read a Haruki Murakami book and I am a bit disappointed. All the previous books had the fantasy and strange elements that can make one adequately engaged while reading. This one does not have any talking cats, flying fish or a character who sleeps for straight one week. This is just an old-fashioned love story between a young Japanese man his two female lovers amidst the usual Murakami concoctions of music (pop in this book), cooking, loonies, suicide and even, yes, well....more
Ben
There are three main themes: The unpredictable nature of growing up, the sadness of death, and love. Essentially it's a love story, and it felt like your typical one, until about halfway through. Then I slowly realized that it had become something so much deeper than that; something so much more.

Part of its attraction had to do with the feeling that I'm similar to--and that I strongly understand--the protagonist. Plus I've had my own complicated set of relationships recently, so the book hit ho...more
Vera
Ένα ξεχωριστό βιβλίο που ανακάλυψα στα καλοκαιρινά μου αναγνώσματα είναι το "Το Νορβηγικό δάσος" του Χαρούκι Μουρακάμι. Πρόκειται για την ιστορία που αφηγείται ο κεντρικός ήρωας ο Τόρου Βατανάμπε για την ίδια τη ζωή του, ακούγοντας το κομμάτι Νορβηγικό δάσος των Beatles.Οι αναμνήσεις ζωντανεύουν στη μνήμη του και ο Βατανάμπε περιγράφει με σαγηνευτική λεπτομέρεια τρία χρόνια από τη ζωή του και συγκεκριμένα από τα δεκαεφτά μέχρι τα είκοσί του, που τελειώνει το κολέγιο και πηγαίνει στο πανεπιστήμιο...more
Elisa
Chissà cosa poteva spingere un cane ad annusare fiori sotto la pioggia?

Sono di ritorno dal Giappone. Ci sono stata dalla fine degli anni '60 all'alba dei '70. Ho guardato le stagioni rincorrersi inesorabili e le notti succedersi ai giorni allungando le ombre sul selciato.
All'inizio ero titubante e poco attratta da questo libro. Sapevo che affrontava il tema del suicidio giovanile e questo mi scoraggiava un po'. Pensavo che sarebbe stata una lettura molto pesante e che, forse, non sarebbe stata...more
Kelly
Close your eyes. Feel the breeze sweep the hair off your neck. Breathe in. Breathe out. Hear the birds welcoming the day. Smell the dew-soaked grass. Breathe in. Breathe out. Open your eyes and soak in all the beauty and heartache today has to offer...This is Murakami's greatest ability; he pulls you into his own world and, at the same time, awakens you to your own. It is also his cruelest trick.

And while I love Murakami and could talk about his books all day, it really is difficult to try and b...more
mai ahmd

...كانت هذه الرواية أول تجربة لي مع موراكامي
ولم تكن الأخيرة
بالرغم من أنها 398 صفحة تقريبا إلا أنني لم أشعر معها بالوقت
هكذا! تقرأ ولاتشعر بنفسك
شفافية الحوارات تأخذ بعقلك
الإهتمام بالتفاصيل تأخذ بعقلك
تلك التفاصيل التي تعيشك الحدث وكأنه موجود بالداخل
شخصيات غريبة كثيرة في هذه الرواية غير أن أسلوب الكاتب بالغ الشفافية وهذه ميزة يتميز بها أغلب من قرأتُ لهم في الأدب الياباني حيث لا تشعر متى بدأت ومتى انتهيت
أعجبتني لغة الكاتب وفلسفته حول الموت والحياة
وفي الرواية كان الجنس معضلة كما كان هو الحل

Grace Tjan
“Letters are just pieces of paper,” I said. “Burn them, and what stays in your heart will stay; keep them, and what vanishes will vanish.”

Norwegian Wood is supposed to be Murakami’s realistic novel; there are no mind-bending revelations, or even cats that talk, but a strong sense of ephemerality pervades the novel in a way that is at times surreal. There is nothing extraordinary about Toru Watanabe, the first-year student protagonist; he is studying drama, though he seems to have no real passion...more
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can someone please tell me why was the sex scene at the end necessary? 10 122 Aug 24, 2014 05:58PM  
I didn't understand the ending of this book, what happened exactly? 55 3498 Aug 01, 2014 01:25AM  
Eyes wide open: Haruki Murakami: Norwegian Wood 7 43 May 10, 2014 10:51AM  
The Book Vipers: Norwegian Wood - SPOILERS ALLOWED 16 85 Nov 01, 2013 12:12PM  
The Little Intern...: The Women 3 33 Sep 27, 2013 01:03PM  
The Little Intern...: * First Impressions after Reading 4 31 Sep 27, 2013 12:54PM  
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Haruki Murakami (Japanese: 村上 春樹) is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. His work has been described as 'easily accessible, yet profoundly complex'. He can be located on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/harukimuraka...

Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. He grew up reading a range of works by Am...more
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“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” 15897 likes
“Nobody likes being alone that much. I don't go out of my way to make friends, that's all. It just leads to disappointment. ” 3116 likes
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