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Norwegian Wood (ノルウェイの森 #1-2)

by
4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  175,051 Ratings  ·  9,848 Reviews
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,
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Paperback, 296 pages
Published September 12th 2000 by Vintage Books (first published 1987)
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airin You missed the whole point. I don't blame you or anything. Books are books and people earn and understand different things from different books at…moreYou missed the whole point. I don't blame you or anything. Books are books and people earn and understand different things from different books at different times. You may be touched from a book or you may feel nothing by reading it. But the truth is you missed the whole point of this one. Romantic, slow, predictable all these things are disadvantages when you try to describe a thriller/suspense or a book you read just for fun. This book opens up human bodies to show the souls that lie inside of them. It's beautiful, sorrowful and realistic. I'm not good with words and I'm not trying to force you to like it, I just want to tell you how I see things like that, and to set an example, how much I loved this book.(less)
Nicole Hmm...I would disagree with Zeke and say the movie was actually not that close to the book. And I'm not usually a stickler for accuracy, but it seemed…moreHmm...I would disagree with Zeke and say the movie was actually not that close to the book. And I'm not usually a stickler for accuracy, but it seemed to confuse a lot of events and motives. Here's an instance that I would suggest reading the book before seeing the film. :)(less)
Norwegian Wood by Haruki MurakamiThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki MurakamiKafka on the Shore by Haruki MurakamiBattle Royale by Koushun TakamiHard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
Best Japanese Books
1st out of 489 books — 2,225 voters
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308th out of 42,922 books — 161,081 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ian GalaDali
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
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Yulia
May 02, 2008 Yulia rated it it was ok
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
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Bel
Jan 11, 2011 Bel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Kristin Rose
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
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 it was ok
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
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Lou
May 16, 2012 Lou rated it it was amazing
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
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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
Rajat Ubhaykar
Jan 16, 2013 Rajat Ubhaykar rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
“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
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j
Dec 20, 2010 j rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: college juniors
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
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Kedar
Apr 03, 2012 Kedar rated it it was amazing
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
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Markus
Jan 11, 2016 Markus rated it did not like it
"Those were strange days, now that I look back at them. In the midst of life, everything revolved around death."

Welcome to Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami; a tale of a bunch of suicidal perverts in Japanese universities.

No, honestly. This book is essentially about two things: sex and death. There are hidden meanings everywhere, but when you cut away that and go to the core, that’s what’s left. And my, does the book have a lot of sex. Weird forms of sex. And a lot of death. And not in a good wa
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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
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Algernon
Dec 26, 2015 Algernon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014

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 closed 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 i
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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.
Cory
Jan 09, 2012 Cory rated it really liked it
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
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Ahmed Oraby
Oct 08, 2015 Ahmed Oraby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ممم... حسن
الرواية جيدة، لكن.
إذا كنت تبحث عن كافكا أخرى هاهنا، فيسعدني أن أخيب ظنك، فصدقًا، كافكا لا تعوض ولا تماثل أبدًا
بجنونها، بفلسفتها، بفانتازيتها، بفحشها وبذائتها، بعبقريتها بكل شيء
لكن، يظل موراكامي كما هو، مجنون عبقري
روايته تلك لطيفة، لن أقول بأنها استثنائية، لكنها جيدة، كنت متحيرًا في أثناء اقترابي من نهايتها في التقييم المناسب لها، وكنت قد استقريت على نجمتين أو ثلاثة على الأكثر، لكونها مجرد قصة، عادية، مليئة بالفحش والبذاءة والقبح لا أكثر، لكن صدقًا، آخر ثلاثون صفحة منها، حرفيًا، قلبت رأ
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Weinz
Mar 28, 2009 Weinz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate
Sep 14, 2007 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Laz
Apr 02, 2016 Laz rated it really liked it
This was an amazing book, I did not expect to like it that much. I loved Toru, he is an amazing personality, and I gotta say he's one of the best male fictional characters I've ever had the pleasure of reading about. The development of his character, it's clear in every single page, and he is evolving his personality right before our eyes. The author did an excellent job at this part.

However, the were some parts I didn't like, which I won't delve into because doing so would require giving away s
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Garima
Dec 30, 2013 Garima rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-2-cents
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
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Cris
Jan 14, 2016 Cris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Es el primer libro de Murakami que llega a mis manos y puedo decir sin duda que seguiré leyendo a este autor. Me ha cautivado su estilo y su forma de marcar el ritmo. El carácter de toda la obra podría resumirse en un par de adjetivos: íntima y exquisita. Los personajes, las escenas y los espacios quedan perfilados al detalle con un mínimo esfuerzo. Todo es suave y lento, a pesar de la crudeza de algunas situaciones. Los ambientes adquieren un matiz tridimensional casi de casualidad a través del ...more
Edward Lorn
Nov 10, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of literary fiction and possums
Shelves: 52-in-52-2015, ebook
Norwegian Wood is not what I expected. I was looking for more of Murakami's surrealist fiction, more of his magical realism, but I got a coming-of-age love story. That in no way lessened my enjoyment. It was simply a much different experience than I was prepared for.

If you have not read Murakami and you enjoy literary fiction, you're truly missing out. I'm ashamed I didn't come across him sooner. He was completely off my radar until my buddy Gregor introduced me to his writing. Translator Jay Ru
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Franco  Santos
2.5

Primer libro que leo de Murakami. Me esperaba mucho más. Me parecieron demasiadas muertes y demasiado sexo coqueteando con el sinsentido. Todo era muy inverosímil. No sé si el autor no sale de su casa o la cultura oriental es mucho más diferente a la nuestra de lo que pensaba, pero, Murakami, lo que pasa en tu libro no pasa en la realidad. La historia nunca llegó a resultarme creíble.

La único que me gustó y disfruté fue solo el penúltimo capítulo, que fue la única parte en la que el autor log
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mai ahmd
Feb 08, 2012 mai ahmd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

...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

Astrid Reza
Aug 21, 2007 Astrid Reza rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-book-shelf
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
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Megha
Apr 04, 2009 Megha rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
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
Seth T.
Jul 29, 2008 Seth T. rated it really liked it
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
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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
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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
More about Haruki Murakami...

Other Books in the Series

ノルウェイの森 (2 books)
  • ノルウェイの森 Vol. 1
  • ノルウェイの森 Vol. 2

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“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” 21080 likes
“What happens when people open their hearts?"
"They get better.”
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