Julian Neuer's Reviews > Norwegian Wood

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
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's review
Sep 06, 2015

it was amazing
bookshelves: drama, romance

Murakami's fiction is delightful, whether he's writing magical realism or a fake autobiography like this one. His style is the same in both genres: the trippy similes, the rich descriptions, the flights of introspection by the characters, the symbolism. That the narrative is first-person and that the book is just one long chapter -- as opposed to the omniscient third person narrator and the sequences of intertwined chapters in his other novels -- only strengthen the impact of the story.

Also delightful is that we are transported back to a time when people wrote letters -- the kind where we put pen to paper, the kind we had to stick in an envelope, go to to a post office or to a mailbox to send and wait for days until we got a reply, and precisely because so much time and effort were required, we tended to invest so much more of ourselves in the letters, working our thoughts onto the pages the way a painter works his vision onto the canvas. What a welcome break from today's shallow exchanges on the internet.

I found the letters included in the text of the novel real masterpieces; they contain deep, touching reflections on the inner worlds of the characters.

Finally, I was impressed by the way the characters dealt with sex. I know the Japanese culture can be repressive and prudish, but the young people in this novel show a no-nonsense attitude in this respect. Could it be because they were living in the 1960's?

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Reading Progress

September 6, 2015 – Shelved
September 6, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
November 22, 2015 – Started Reading
November 22, 2015 –
November 22, 2015 –
15.0% "No chapters. The narrative just flows. 1st person. Flashbacks. Narrator is writing so as not to forget. Couldn't write before."
November 29, 2015 –
November 29, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
November 29, 2015 – Shelved as: drama
November 29, 2015 – Shelved as: romance
November 29, 2015 – Finished Reading

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