Jessica's Reviews > Norwegian Wood

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
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May 14, 12

bookshelves: guardian-one-thousand, books-made-into-movies, 2012, favorites, i-own-these-books
Read from May 04 to 11, 2012, read count: 1

I'd been wanting to read a Murakami for a long time, and plenty of my friends told me to start with this novel. It certainly did not disappoint. The prose and story have a pull that not many other books have; it's hypnotic in a way that made me never want to put it down and that also nearly made me miss many subway stops over the week it took me to read.

I wouldn't call the story 'enjoyable,' but it is good. It's melancholic and strange and heartbreaking, but beautiful all the same. It's about Japanese teenagers in the '60s, but it's telling that I recognize traits of these characters in some of the people I grew up with, or even people I know today. They're the Watanabes grown up a bit; I knew a Naoko who came out of everything okay. That's not to say these characters are generic--they are fully realized, but relatable.

On Friday evening I spent the train ride out of the city crying through the last few pages and trying to hide it from the other passengers. Reading this book on subways and trains was most fitting, in retrospect.
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Reading Progress

05/07/2012 page 71
24.0% "Entrancing so far..."
05/09/2012 page 167
56.0% "I almost missed my transfer and then my stop this morning while reading--I can't look away."
05/11/2012 page 247
83.0% "It's quite heartbreaking; but as this is my first Murakami, I think I've become a fan. Only a few pages left..."

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Yunita I cried too in the last few pages. I thought I'm lame for crying but this book is that good.


Steve Good review, though I almost always enjoy reading your reviews. I too have been meaning to pick up a Marukami for a while and may do so soon. Is this really the one to start with? And is it worth bumping way up on my "to-read" list?


Jessica Yunita wrote: "I cried too in the last few pages. I thought I'm lame for crying but this book is that good."

The way the narrative flows so rhythmically sometimes makes it seem like everything is okay and you're in a trance and then you realize you just read this HUGE thing that is just in the middle of that flow. I loved the way it read like that...and making one of those realizations near the end had me in tears!

Steve wrote: "Good review, though I almost always enjoy reading your reviews. I too have been meaning to pick up a Marukami for a while and may do so soon. Is this really the one to start with? And is it worth b..."

It looks like it's really the one to start with because it's his shortest, and apparently most simple and straight-forward. I don't even know what his other books are about, but they all seem like real tomes. I read somewhere that he just wanted to do a straight story (I guess his others involve magical realism, or sci-fi or something?), and that's exactly what it is. I look forward to reading more of his books, for sure. I think it's worth bumping up because it's relatively short and won't take much time to gather whether you'd be a Murakami fan or not.

Thanks for reading my reviews, dude!


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