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Norwegian Wood (ノルウェイの森 #1-2)

4.02  ·  Rating Details  ·  182,197 Ratings  ·  10,264 Reviews
When he hears her favourite Beatles song, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend Kizuki. Immediately he is transported back almost twenty years to his student days in Tokyo, adrift in a world of uneasy friendships, casual sex, passion, loss and desire - to a time when an impetuous young woman called Midori marches into his life and he ...more
Hardcover, 494 pages
Published May 18th 2000 by Harvill Press (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)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ian Vinogradus
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
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
...more
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
Malbadeen
Jul 07, 2008 Malbadeen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Lou
May 16, 2012 Lou rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Rajat Ubhaykar
Jan 16, 2013 Rajat Ubhaykar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
j
Dec 20, 2010 j rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kedar
Apr 03, 2012 Kedar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Markus
"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
...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.
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
Algernon
Dec 26, 2015 Algernon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Glenn Sumi
I’m late to the Murakami party, but I’m glad I arrived. People here seem to be enjoying themselves, passing his books around enthusiastically while ordering many rounds of sake and Japanese beer and nibbling on cucumber with nori and soy sauce. I think I’ll stay a while.

Last year I read What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – his book on long-distance running - and quite enjoyed it. But this is the first book of his fiction I’ve read. I hear it’s atypical Murakami: no magic realism, no noi
...more
Cory
Jan 09, 2012 Cory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
...more
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
...more
Giulia (Jun)
Don't worry, it's only death. Don't let it bother you.



As I was reading the last page of Norwegian Wood and the book slowly came to an end, I suddenly realised I was not ready to be finished with it. Do you know that scent, the one of rotten fruit? It's sweet in a sickening way, and leaves you feeling hazy and slightly nauseous, as if you just want to turn your head away and take a few steps back. Somehow, this is how this book left me feeling. Uneasy.

This is the first book I've ever read by M
...more
Pradnya K.
May 21, 2016 Pradnya K. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, 2016
It's been a week I finished it. Since I've borrowed it from library, I was supposed to submit it on last Monday. But I couldn't. The book has pulled the strings of my heart in unforgettable way. I felt its physical presence, like a sad child with tearful eyes is following me, asking me not to leave it alone. Ah! You can't really shake that feeling off, can you? That's the way Norwegian woods clung to me, urging me to have one more look at it. So, I'm carrying it daily to my office in the hope th ...more
Garima
Dec 30, 2013 Garima rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Laz
Apr 02, 2016 Laz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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
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
...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
...more
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  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
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Is Reiko evil? 19 485 Jul 20, 2016 02:37PM  
I didn't understand the ending of this book, what happened exactly? 87 6662 Jul 19, 2016 07:36AM  
Around the Year i...: Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami 15 53 Jul 04, 2016 10:16AM  
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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.” 21699 likes
“What happens when people open their hearts?"
"They get better.”
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