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Norwegian Wood

(ノルウェイの森 #1-2)

by
4.03  ·  Rating details ·  267,792 ratings  ·  15,702 reviews
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 unb ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published September 12th 2000 by Vintage Books (first published 1987)
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David Possibly. I was living in Japan when I read most of Murakami's books. I was in a period of transition but after reading his books, I realize I am…morePossibly. I was living in Japan when I read most of Murakami's books. I was in a period of transition but after reading his books, I realize I am always in a period of transition. I'll be stable when I'm dead. It is slow but life can still be beautiful. I would love to sit in a living room, staring at the trees outside, in a forest, listening to the Beatles.

I think Stephen King has a good quote for this from Hearts in Atlantis: "Read sometimes for the story, Bobby. Don't be like the book-snobs who won't do that. Read sometimes for the words - the language. Don't be like the play-it-safers that won't do that. But when you find a book that has both good story and good words, treasure that 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)
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Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.03  · 
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 ·  267,792 ratings  ·  15,702 reviews


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Ian "Marvin" Graye
Twenty Revolutions

The birthday I feared most 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
...more
Yulia
Jul 11, 2007 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
...more
Bel
Jan 10, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jim Fonseca
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a relatively early novel by this author, 1987. The book jacket tells us that this book booted him up from being a famous author to ‘superstar status.’ On GR it is one of his most highly-rated books.

It’s also the only -- I’ll call it ‘straightforward’ -- novel of the five or so of his I have read. There is no science fiction or magical realism. No women in bars who may be ghosts, no hanging out in deep wells, no psychic cats, just a single moon.

description

We do have, as usual in Murakami, a cat, m
...more
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
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
Murakami divides his novel into two. There is the past and death. Then there is future and life. What road do you take?

Seems like an easy question to answer. But what happens when you are in love with the past? And what happens when you so desperately want to save that past from such a death? Life becomes complicated and the prospect of the future feels like a brutal betrayal of one who is desperately clinging to you. You are her anchor; her only connection with reality. And you love her. How ca
...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
Apr 14, 2008 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
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
ノルウェイの森 = Noruwei no mori = Norwegian wood (1987), Haruki Murakami
Norwegian Wood (ノルウェイの森 Noruwei no Mori) is a 1987 novel by Japanese author Haruki Murakami.
A 37-year-old Toru Watanabe has just arrived in Hamburg, Germany. When he hears an orchestral cover of the Beatles' song "Norwegian Wood", he is suddenly overwhelmed by feelings of loss and nostalgia. He thinks back to the 1960s, when so much happened that touched his life. Watanabe, his classmate Kizuki, and Kizuki's girlfriend Naoko are
...more
Kristin Myrtle
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
Luffy
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't have many meaningful things to say about Norwegian Wood. First, a disclaimer. This is, by no means, a romance book - no offence meant. I cannot suffer to attach such a tacky word on this book. Oh, what do I know, it IS a romance book. But it is laterally more than that.

Like Dickens, Murakami fuels his potboiler with death of the innocent. Each one is offing herself. That's right. What really matters is the subtext. In all superficial opinion, Watanabe is having a normal college life. But
...more
Mutasim Billah
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, japan
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”


CAUTION: This isn't a love story

This was my first introduction into the world of Murakami. This isn't a sappy love story as some Murakami fans would like to tell you. Haruki Murakami himself was baffled by the popularity that this story achieved due to the novel's departure from the usual surrealist themes that are associated with his novels. The fame achieved through Norwegian Wood h
...more
MJ Nicholls
Apr 01, 2012 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
Em Lost In Books
I started reading this book back in February but I think timing was not right and we didn’t click. I stopped after 20%, and also I thought it was weird with all its sex talk, alcoholism, and suicides. Fast forward to June and my buddy said she was reading and I had to read this, at least give it a try before finally ditching it. I wanted to have something in my defense when I tell my group of friends that why I didn’t like this book (he is super popular among my friends).

"But who can say what's
...more
Markus
Oct 10, 2015 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
...more
jessica
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘death is not the opposite of life, but an innate part of it.’

imagine you are standing in the middle of the road. to the left is the past, lined with death. to the right is the future, paved with life. sometimes we become so focused on choosing one way over the other that we forget how interconnected the two are, that we cant go in one direction without having previously come from the other.

there are a lot of themes/components to this novel (so much so that each deserve their own review), but
...more
Lou
May 20, 2010 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
...more
Rajat Ubhaykar
Aug 21, 2011 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
...more
Athena ღ
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Πρώτο βιβλίο για το 2019 και χαίρομαι που επέλεξα να είναι αυτό. Το λάτρεψα! Η αφήγηση του Μουρακάμι είναι τόσο ζωντανή που καθ'όλη τη διάρκεια της ανάγνωσης ζούσα κι εγώ στο Τόκιο μαζί με τον Τόρου Βατανάμπε και όλους τους ανθρώπους που στιγμάτισαν τη φοιτητική, και όχι μόνο, ζωή του.
Πλέον, το τραγούδι Norwegian wood των Beatles θα μου θυμίζει αυτή τη μελαγχολική μα συγχρόνως γλυκιά ιστορία, ακριβώς όπως θυμίζει στον Τόρου τη πρώτη του αγάπη.
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.
Michael
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, kindle
A mawkish coming-of-age tale masquerading as a love story, Norwegian Wood is a straightforward take on the bildungsroman. Set in the late sixties in Tokyo, the novel follows Toru, a reticent college student, as he comes to terms with the death of his best friend from high school while juggling relationships with two women, one fun loving and one melancholy. The novel alternates between lengthy descriptive passages, repetitive introspection, and one-sided conversations Toru has with the talkative ...more
Adam Dalva
Feb 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
I revisited Norwegian Wood remembering nothing about my Sophomore year experience with it, nothing except that I loved it. And I can see why: the plot is propulsive, with Murakami’s kinetic prose once again keeping me up late; the lead character is a well-realized loner archetype; the world, 1960s Japan during the student protests, glimmers in the background. There are excellent long-sequences (hospital visit, fire, sanatorium) It is salacious and often funny, well-observed:

“The second feature w
...more
unknown
Mar 29, 2010 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
...more
Kedar
Dec 12, 2011 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
...more
Apoorva
Norwegian Wood begins with Toru Watanabe, a 37 year old man traveling to Hamburg. After hearing the 'Norwegian Wood' by Beatles, he is overcome with nostalgia and begins musing about his teenage years.

At the age of 17, Kizuki, his best friend, decides to end his life leaving behind Toru and his girlfriend, Naoko, broken. Toru and Naoko bond after his death and Toru tries to offer emotional support to Naoko, falling in love with her in the process. But the death of Kizuki, whom Naoko loved ever s
...more
Jr Bacdayan
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Pain is a feeling both sobering and intoxicating at the same time. Its initial shock jolts and slaps you demanding to be acknowledged, while its continued presence inebriates you, transforms your world into a haze where nothing but it exists, rendering you incapable of all basic function. It’s a slow bleed, nevertheless a devastating experience make no mistake. It takes hold of the best of us, the weakest, it doesn’t discriminate, from the most beautiful, to the most scarred, quietly lurking in ...more
Ahmed Oraby
Aug 15, 2013 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
J.L.   Sutton
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
By this point, I've read several Haruki Murakami books. I've really come to appreciate not only his use of language and the meditative quality he evokes, but also the sense of the surreal. Frankly, I like the convoluted twists and turns, the improbable histories and even the talking cats. One of his earlier novels, Norwegian Wood is well-written and has a fairly straightforward plot. It also had that reflective quality I like. So I knew I was reading Murakami, but I wanted the protagonist to loo ...more
Orsodimondo
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giappone
LIFE BLUES

description
L’immagine manifesto del film di Tran Anh Hung presentato alla Mostra del Cinema di Venezia nel 2010, da cui vengono anche le immagini che seguono.

Toru Watanabe ha trentasette anni, e all’inizio di questa storia sta atterrando sull’aeroporto di Amburgo a bordo di un Boeing 747.
La radio trasmette la celebre e magnifica canzone dei Beatles, Norwegian Wood, che è il titolo originale di questo romanzo, Tokyo Blues è un’invenzione della prima edizione italiana.
Sulle note della struggente
...more
Algernon
Jul 22, 2014 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
...more
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66,270 followers
Murakami Haruki (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

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
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” 26572 likes
“What happens when people open their hearts?"
"They get better.”
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