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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  115,622 ratings  ·  10,202 reviews
A New York Times and Washington Post notable book, and one of the Financial Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Slate, Mother Jones, The Daily Beast, and BookPage's best books of the year

An instant #1 New York Times Bestseller, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the remarkable story of a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have
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Hardcover, First American Edition, 386 pages
Published August 12th 2014 by Knopf Publishing Group (first published April 12th 2013)
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3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  115,622 ratings  ·  10,202 reviews


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Brendon Schrodinger
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: japan
The phone rang as I was slicing potatoes for a massuman curry one afternoon whist listening to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. I didn’t particularly want to answer the phone as it was likely to be a telemarketer, but it could be someone phoning about possible work.
“So how is it so far?” asked a woman’s voice on the other end.
Our phone line is terrible, but I still did not recognize the voice.
“Excuse me? I think you may have the wrong number.”
“No, I have the correct number. How are you finding Murak
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Xandra
I wish I could tell you this book is about gregarious men, women who are more than their boobs and their stupid advice, disdain for train stations, vivacious characters, solvable mysteries. Hell, I wish I could tell you it’s about unicorns, shoguns and samurai clans, aliens, post-apocalyptic Japan, killer penguins or the Russian tundra. Anything other than the old Murakami tropes again.

Surprising no one, the book deals with lost friendship and the exasperating whining that derives from that. To
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Koen Van den Eeckhout
Jan 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
To me, Murakami's books are like ice cream. Many people will claim that it's just more of the same, and in a way they are right. But I am not complaining, because it's just more of the same delicious, luscious thing. Also, while a too large bowl of ice cream can cause stomach troubles (maybe like The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles), this time Murakami limits himself to a nice amount of 360 pages.

I will not go into much detail on the plot. At the age of 20, Tsukuru Tazaki is kicked out of his brotherhoo
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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
This is easily one of the saddest books I have ever read. I found it extremely difficult to read in places. I know what it is to lose friends, to have people randomly walk out of your life as if you never existed: it’s not a nice feeling after years of friendship.

For Tsukuru its four friends and they all exit at once. He gets a phone call from one of them informing him that the group have unanimously decided that he is no longer part of it. The shock is something that he carries with him for his
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Hadrian
Jul 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: japan, fiction

Source of the original image here.

No bingo this time.

I've had an awfully hard time trying to write a review for this one. When I try to write an honest review, non-professional that I am, I try to write something that's 1) more substantive than what the back blurb would say, and 2) something which would help myself or any other reader distinguish this from anything else the author has written. I don't always meet both of these qualifications, but here I'm just at a total loss.

The basic tropes o
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Sophie
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, japanese, 2013
(Note: there's a big spoiler in this review, but I'm going to mark it so you should be able to skip it.)

I wanted to like this book.

I ordered it after reading the description in the German preview, and I could hardly wait. The plot sounded intriguing, and this was going to be the first "real" novel I was going to read in Japanese, and it was by an author whose works I mostly enjoyed until then. This was going to be so good!

And it was, in the beginning. Tazaki Tsukuru used to be part of a group o
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Ian "Marvin" Graye
From Young Adult to Mature

Many of Murakami's novels deal with the transition from adolescence to adulthood. This probably accounts for their amazing popularity, especially with young Japanese readers.

However, you have to wonder whether Murakami can continually plough the fields of this subject matter at his age, without losing his youthful audience.

As at the date of publication of this novel, he is aged 65, which in some countries is the traditional mandatory retirement age.

I suspect that "Col
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s.penkevich
Dec 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: the colorless
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Catharine B
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
-Søren Kierkegaard

It is a shame that we cannot relive the past, only merely recreate it. We bear the scars of events we can only comprehend in retrospect, but must rely on flawed memory and biased examinations of what truly came to pass. Internationally acclaimed novelist Haruki Murakami’s 2014 novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage—a title that screams of pure Murakami whimsy and flair, is a novel abo
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Darwin8u
Aug 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
“You can hide memories, but you can't erase the history that produced them.”
― Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki

description

A slow soak in a bath of music, color, friends, loneliness, philosophy, creation and death. Murakami is a genius at writing with emotions swirling beneath the text. He gets the importance of the notes AND the silence of prose; of the unsaid, dreamy place that is both recognized and strange.

This isn't his most exciting work, but it is clearly not a throw-away either. It brings a
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J.L.   Sutton
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Tsukuru Tazaki’s life looks like it’s going well, but he’s emotionally stuck. He’s located the place in the past where this has happened, a time when close friends inexplicably banish him from their group, but 16 years later he still doesn’t know why. What follows is a compelling idiosyncratic odyssey in search of answers and identity. Murakami’s novel is a meditation on moving forward and coming to terms with a past which will always be outside our reach, always incomprehensible. I look forward ...more
Fabian
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was ok
Depressing Haruki Murakami facsimile of the most amateurish kind. It's evocative, transcendent, but solely in a topically-curt, almost embarrassingly-superficial way. The easy prose by now has entered a very comical dimension.

This is farce. It is all simplicity, nuance; it's all pretty... empty. LAAAAME

Is this (the beginning of) the downfall of our very beloved Japanese contemporary literary master?
Ahmad Sharabiani
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, Haruki Murakami
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the thirteenth[n novel by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. Published on 12 April 2013 in Japan, it sold one million copies in one month. Tsukuru Tazaki is a 36-year-old man whose defining features are his love of train stations and the fact his four best friends all ceased to speak to him during his second year at university: "Like Jonah in the belly of the whale, Tsukuru
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K.D. Absolutely
Aug 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to K.D. by: Emir Never
My 13th Murakami book. I am torn between 2 and 3 stars but since there are no talking cats, flying leeches or Colonel Sanders in this book, I am giving this a 3. I liked this book. I mean, I loved "Wind-Up Bird" but it was one of my first Murakami books, I was a lot younger then and I still did not know that Murakami recycles the same ingredients when he cooks.

This book is almost like a rehash of "Norwegian Wood." Tsukuru Tazaki in this book is 36 and Toru Watanabe in Norwegian is 37 and they lo
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Helene Jeppesen
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of Haruki Murakami's, this book thrilled me! That's because this novel combines an intriguing and puzzling plot with a beautiful and simple way of looking at life. I was fascinated with the protagonist's way of thinking and dealing reasonably with life, and furthermore it was a pleasure to once again read a story set in Japan because it inevitably intertwines with Japanese culture.
Regrettably, this book didn't come with a lot of magical realism which is, however, a common trait of Mura
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Maria
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“You can hide memories, but you can't erase the history that produced them.”

This is barely my second Murakami reading. Having "Kafka on the Shore" in my mind, read just a couple of months ago, I thought I would also find that bizarre, transcendental and almost phantasmagorical similar experience. "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage" is written under a complete different ambiance, yet it possesses certain Murakami essentials I begin to recognize in his style and probably every
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Praveen
My book with all decorations:



There are two divisions in people who read Haruki Murakami’s books.

First one being, those who are addicted to his universe; a different sphere of reality, where at a special time and place imagination had been set free. Once you are in, you never want to come to reality like a person who had his first gulp of his drink, feels a gust of wind swooping inside his skull and feels as if his brain is floating with a sparkling smile on the corner of his lips.

And latter on
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Melanie
Jul 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Here's a review I'm not looking forward to write... So I will leave the preamble to Robert J. Wiersema’s thoughts in The National Post, which sadly echoed my sentiments exactly.

"Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage is a stirring novel of loss and conciliation, of unanswerable mysteries, fragile hope. There are passages of considerable beauty and insight, and moments of magic and a sense of the sublime which we have come to expect from Murakami. At its most basic level, it will s
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Matthew Quann
Oct 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
Haruki Murakami and I are breaking up, and it’s him, not me.

I was at first enchanted by 1Q84’s mystery, unique, easy-to-read style and peculiar dialogue. I was less impressed by my second dip into the Murakami pool in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, though I realize a lot of people love that novel. So, this was it, Murakami’s last chance. Would he wow me with Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, or leave me out in the cold.

Dear reader, the star-rating is at the top, so you already
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Lea
Aug 24, 2014 rated it did not like it
My first Murakami, and probably my last.

After all the raves for Murakami, I expected this to blow me away.

Even as I found my enthusiasm waning, I still thought there would come a point where the author would pull all the pieces together and I would have this sudden a-ha moment -- I was really looking forward to that.

Even when I reached the point of literally forcing myself to continue -- come on, you can do it, only three more chapters! -- I STILL thought there would be SOMETHING to make the
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Leslie Ray
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite a melancholy book that centers around Tsukuru Tazaki, whose name means "colorless". His pilgrimage is a journey to find out why he was abruptly rejected outright by his four closest friends from school. For anyone who has faced rejection, without knowing why and who questions their place in the scheme of things, this will be a journey for you too. When he finds out why, he will realize that it wasn't about him at all. When he finds that the world does not revolve around him and is able to ...more
Michael
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Now several weeks after reading this, the man who seeks his color still sticks in my mind in a sad and sweet way. You have to relinquish your expectations based on what you may love in Murikami’s other writing, his wild rides of personal discovery with comic overlays of head-scratching mystery and magic realism. No cats or Colonel Sanders. Instead, we get a story of a man frozen in his development due to an abandonment by a special circle of friends from school. The persistent dwelling by Tazaki ...more
Jr Bacdayan
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
“On his 20th year all Tsukuru Tazaki could think about was dying…” funny how the opening lines of a novel can hit you like an arrow through the heart. Like Tsukuru I’m twenty years old right now and if I’m going to be honest to myself and to you dear reader, it would be a lie if I said I’ve never thought about dying. To explain it, there is a word used often but seldom understood: Depression. Not only a word, more than an emotional state, beyond Kubler-Ross’ stage of grief, it is a living form o ...more
7jane
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: when you underestimate yourself and your importance
Tsukuru Tazaki, at 36 a railways station and its repair planner, is telling to his newest friend, Sara, about an important incident in his past, one that has left a great mark on him (a some level of blocking inside) and that still smarts today: sixteen years ago, a group of close friends of his suddenly cut all contact with him, leaving him with a months-long crisis that left both changes in looks and in how he views himself. All of them had color-related names, which made him call himself 'Col ...more
Tony
Jul 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: japanese
I'm sorry, but I have to ask you not to call us anymore.

So says one of Tsukuru Tazaki's four close-knit friends in high school. They were inseparable, four fingers and a thumb. But without explanation, Tsukuru is cut loose.

And so, colorless, Tsukuru Tazaki watches train stations. (I thought maybe Murakami was channeling Bohumil Hrabal, but he's not.) Then he builds train stations. Yet his life is a void. So Murakami, this time without the magic realism, tells us why Tsukuru was rejected and we w
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Michelle Sung
Murakami's latest, "Colorless Tasaki Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage" has been compared to his earlier work, "Norwegian Wood" by the press, and yes it is similar in that it touches upon similar themes such as the loss of innocence. But i'd say it is about the loss of self-identity in a broader sense, the arbritrariness of human relationships (and our stubborn pursuit for meaning in denial of that arbitrariness), and also the ennui that creeps in during one's 30s and 40s (i.e.,you're not yet ...more
switterbug (Betsey)
Jun 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Murakami is an artist of seduction when it comes to themes of alienation and dislocation. He takes you into a surreal world, where dreams and reality overlap, classical and jazz music is imbued, and the lonely hero has a soulful journey enriched by his subconscious provocations. His latest novel is tightly focused, more tautly controlled than any of his others that I have read. It concerns railroad station engineer and loner Tsukuru Tazaki, a thirty-six-year-old at a liminal stage between lettin ...more
Tracey
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murakami-mania
Haruki Murakami is one of my favourite modern authors. I prefer the weird, surreal, magical realism books from him but this like Norwegian wood was more realist. Although there were dream sequences, some of which were bizarre to say the least.

The novel like most of his work is ambiguous and atmospheric and it will get you thinking.
As ever music plays an important role, here it is a melancholy piece, Le mal du pays by Liszt which I listened to via youtube.

There is no resolution which is again th
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Arielle Walker
If you've seen my 1Q84 review then you'll know my one and only previous experience with Haruki Murakami’s work was not a positive one. I hated 1Q84. Hated it. (I won't go into more detail here, I took up enough words on it in my review...) Fortunately, when I voiced this opinion (a little nervously - it’s a very popular book) not only did some people actually agree with me, but I was also overwhelmingly reassured that 1Q84 is not definitive of Murakami’s writing. Determined to give him another c ...more
Andrew Smith
Aug 25, 2014 rated it liked it
I love much of Murakami's work, but I confess I was somewhat disappointed with this one. I just don't think the story is particularly strong; it didn't really draw to any identifiable conclusion and just rather petered out at the end. Unusually for this writer, I failed to take anything significant from it.

On the positive side, even on a bad day I do like the rhythm of Murakami's stories. Often nothing much happens for long periods - some could argue that sometimes nothing happens at all - but t
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Diane S ☔
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
For most of his teenage age Colorless was part of an inseparable five person group, three boys, two girls. Until one day he wasn't, told he had done something so terrible he was cut out off the group, they would no longer acknowledge him nor have anything to do with him. But why? What had he done? Almost driven to suicide but never really asking what had happened, it will not be until many years later that he will get some of these answers.

I had a weird relationship with this book, when I was re
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What did you think of the ending? {SPOILERS OBVIOUSLY} 74 2354 Jun 22, 2019 04:07AM  
What do you all think about Haruki Murakami? 7 77 Mar 09, 2019 05:52AM  
Theory on who killed _____ (spoilers, obviously) 6 630 Jul 19, 2018 08:27AM  
Haida, where did you go, pal? 15 987 Feb 20, 2018 11:02PM  
Japanese Literature: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki 9 191 Feb 20, 2018 12:34AM  

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71,255 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
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“You can hide memories, but you can't erase the history that produced them.” 536 likes
“One heart is not connected to another through harmony alone. They are, instead, linked deeply through their wounds. Pain linked to pain, fragility to fragility. There is no silence without a cry of grief, no forgiveness without bloodshed, no acceptance without a passage through acute loss. That is what lies at the root of true harmony.” 476 likes
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