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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  76,964 Ratings  ·  7,655 Reviews
A mesmerising mystery story about friendship from the internationally bestselling author of Norwegian Wood and 1Q84

Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning ‘red pine’, and Oumi, ‘blue sea’, while the girls’ names were Shirane, ‘white root’, and Kurono, ‘black field’. Tazaki w
Paperback, 298 pages
Published July 2nd 2015 by Vintage (first published April 12th 2013)
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Brendon Schrodinger
Jan 05, 2015 Brendon Schrodinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
I wish I could tell you this book is about gregarious men, women who are more than their boobs and their stupid advice, deep seated disdain for train stations, vivacious characters, solvable mysteries. Hell, I wish I could tell you it’s about flying unicorns, shoguns and samurai clans, demented aliens, post-apocalyptic Japan, talking strawberries, killer penguins or the Russian tundra. Anything other than the old Murakami tropes again.

Surprising no one, the book deals with lost friendship and t
Koen Van den Eeckhout
Jan 21, 2014 Koen Van den Eeckhout 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
Oct 28, 2014 Hadrian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, japan

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
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
Aug 25, 2014 Sophie 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
Jan 09, 2015 s.penkevich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the colorless
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Catharine Van dyke
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
Jan 09, 2016 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
“You can hide memories, but you can't erase the history that produced them.”
― Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki


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
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 29, 2014 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 05, 2014 Maria 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
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
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 one
J.L.   Sutton
Mar 18, 2016 J.L. Sutton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tsukuru Tazaki’s life looks like it’s going well, but he’s emotionally stuck. He’s located the place in the past where he’s stuck, 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 to rea ...more
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
Sep 06, 2014 Tony rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 18, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 02, 2015 Jr Bacdayan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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
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
Matthew Quann
Oct 03, 2016 Matthew Quann rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 21, 2013 Oscar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: míos, mainstream, drama
‘Los años de peregrinación del chico sin color’ es quizá la menos murakamiana de las novelas del autor japonés. La historia atrapa desde la primera página, como es habitual en la obra de Murakami, pero se echa en falta esa atmósfera hipnótica y misteriosa tan característica, donde se sirve de cierto realismo mágico y universos paralelos para explicarnos lo incierto del alma humana. Esta vez, Murakami opta por una historia más realista, sin apenas fantasía, salvo algunos sueños un tanto irreales ...more
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
Diane S ☔
Apr 26, 2015 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sara Alaee
Mar 26, 2016 Sara Alaee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sara by: Shayan
Shelves: fiction, novel
"می توانی روی خاطره ها سرپوش بگذاری، یا چه می دانم، سرکوبشان کنی، ولی نمی توانی تاریخی را که این خاطرات را شکل داده پاک کنی. هر چی باشد، این یادت بماند، تاریخ را نه می شود پاک کرد نه عوض. مثل این است که بخواهی خودت را نابود کنی..."

رمان قصه پنج دوست است که در دوران دبیرستان با هم آشنا شده اند و حلقه ای صمیمی را تشکیل داده اند: دو دختر و سه پسر. غیر از سوکورو -شخصیت اصلی داستان- قسمتی از نام هریک از چهار نفر دیگر در زبان ژاپنی به معنی یک رنگ است: قرمز، آبی، سفید و سیاه. به همین دلیل دوستانش سوکورو
Rachel Aloise
Feb 26, 2014 Rachel Aloise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan
I loved how familiar themes quietly unfold in this new Murakami tale: identity and self-realization, unresolved emotional pain from the past, elusive dream states… even some references to Finnish pottery which I happen to be a fan of (although Arabia pottery becomes ‘an Arabian company’ among a few other glaring mistakes in the Dutch text) I would probably enjoy the English translation more, but no matter. Listening to Liszt’s Years of Pilgrimage beautifully conveys the tone of this novel—unders ...more
این اتفاق برای هرکسی ممکن است بیفتد که با یک فیلم، قطعهای موسیقی، یا یک کتاب، ارتباطی درونی پیدا کند. یکنوع هماغوشی و همراهیی خاموش که هیچ ربطی به ارزش هنری آن ندارد. یا یک همذاتپنداری عمیق با شخصیتی داستانی. شخصیتی که خیلی به تو نزدیک است، همه چیزش. افکارش، نحوهی حرفزدنش، سبک زندگیاش و حتا نحوهی رفتار دیگران با خودش. برای من دو بار این اتفاق افتاده است. یکی هنگام خواندن یادداشتهای زیرزمینی داستایوسکی و دیگری همین کتاب. سوکورو تازاکی کسیست که با تمام تنهاییها، احساسات، شرمها، دلهرهها و ترسهایش، ...more
switterbug (Betsey)
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
May 14, 2015 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan
Kafka, you have some company.

I can't believe he did it. I can't believe he wrote a book AS GOOD AS KAFKA. I loved this book. I loved this book so much that I want to start from the very first page and read it all over again. There is so much to say that I don't think I can say anything else at this point (I do want to acknowledge the wonderful job that Chip Kid did on the jacket and binding design. Such a thoughtful, artistic, and clever design!). Ya, I think I will probably re-read this one thi
Jun 11, 2016 Chris_P rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: haruki-murakami
“Aren’t you afraid of dying?”
“Not really. I’ve watched lots of good-for-nothing, worthless people die, and if people like that can do it, then I should be able to handle it.”

My Murakami quest had been put on hold for a few months and now I decided to break the chronological order and skip to his latest, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage. And I gotta say... oops, he did it again.

Twenty or so pages in the book and I was introduced to a group of five friends. Four of them have
Aug 13, 2014 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This arrived at my doorstep early Tuesday morning. I began reading it Tuesday afternoon. The past couple days had been pretty rough for me. Hearing about Robin Williams' suicide and the depths of his depression made me think about my own life, where I might be in the future, the ways I affect people around me, etc. It had been a rough little while and in general I was feeling quite numb. So it was with great excitement I decided to start the new Murakami book. He had been my favorite author at a ...more
Anthony Vacca
This chubby, little book (thanks to Chip Kidd's aesthetically charming but unnecessarily wasteful design) is Murakami at his more restrained, which doesn't really mean much when it comes to his idiosyncratic style. A dreamy, mundane quest narrative allows the jazz-club-owner-turned-novelist to write variations on riffs he's done before: the inevitability of death, the want for a personal identity that matters, the end of youth and the onset of capitalist cynicism, the strange ways of the subcons ...more
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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:

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 about Haruki Murakami...

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“You can hide memories, but you can't erase the history that produced them.” 384 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.” 332 likes
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