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Tokio blues. Norwegian Wood

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  286,376 ratings  ·  16,968 reviews
Mientras aterriza en un aeropuerto europeo, Toru Watanabe escucha una vieja canción de los Beatles que le hace retroceder a su juventud, al turbulento Tokio de los años sesenta. Recuerda entonces con melancolía a la misteriosa Naoko, la novia de su mejor amigo de la adolescencia. El suicidio de éste les distanció durante un año, hasta que se reencontraron e iniciaron una r ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 6th 2007 by Tusquets Editores S.A. (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)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Josefine Slot I found that part disturbing, but still necessary to the book. What I found unnecessary and kind of annoying was Toru and Reiko having sex. I don't…moreI found that part disturbing, but still necessary to the book. What I found unnecessary and kind of annoying was Toru and Reiko having sex. I don't know if that's just me, but it truly ruined my adoration of her and Tori's relationship.(less)

Community Reviews

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4.03  · 
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 ·  286,376 ratings  ·  16,968 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
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
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  ·  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
Ahmad Sharabiani
ノルウェイの森 = Noruwei no mori = Norwegian wood (1987), Haruki Murakami
Norwegian Wood (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 the best
...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
Kenny
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
Haruki Murakami ~~ Norwegian Wood


1

WOW -- what a terrific read Murakami's Norwegian Wood is. I loved this book. Even without the presence of talking cats, hollow earth monsters, and dimension shifting characters Norwegian Wood is still magical. And we still get those Murakami flourishes of The Beatles (obviously), references to THE GREAT GATSBY, a character or two with uniquely large peni
...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
Luffy
Aug 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Adam Dalva
Feb 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I revisited Norwegian Wood remembering nothing about my college 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 was
...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
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
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.
Rajat Ubhaykar
Aug 21, 2011 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
Lou
May 20, 2010 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
Michael
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
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
unknown
Mar 29, 2010 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
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
J.L.   Sutton
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jr Bacdayan
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kedar
Dec 12, 2011 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
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 (Darth Anyan)
Jul 22, 2014 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
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I didn't understand the ending of this book, what happened exactly? 120 12390 Aug 22, 2019 11:46PM  
Is Reiko evil? 36 1746 Aug 13, 2019 02:46PM  
Fanatieke Nederla...: Maandboek februari: Norwegian Wood 42 107 Jul 09, 2019 06:16AM  
Midori was Reiko's student + Understanding Midori's Father 2 59 Jun 30, 2019 12:42PM  
BTS Book Club on ...: March Book 1 17 Mar 04, 2019 02:23PM  
Play Book Tag: Norwegian Wood - Haruki Murakami - 2 stars 4 32 Feb 18, 2019 01:46PM  
Play Book Tag: Norwegian Wood - Haruki Murkami - 2 stars 5 20 Feb 17, 2019 01:43PM  

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70,739 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
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” 27081 likes
“What happens when people open their hearts?"
"They get better.”
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