Norwegian wood by Haruki Murakami

Source – Library

I had a girl,or should I say ,she once had me ,

She showed me her room ,isn’t it good ‘Norwegian wood .

the opening of the beatles song that gave the book its title .

This is my first of many Murakami’s this year so I ve decide to scrap the usual bio start of my post for these and at end of year do a port all about the man and what I ve learned through the year of reading his books ,hopefully all of them if time allows .

So Norwegian wood I read a few years ago and loved it is what I call the classic Murakami style ,A young male and two females ,this has cropped up in other Murakami novels this is set in the sixties and told in a series of flashbacks by the Male Toru Wa\ntabe who on a flight remembers his First love Naoko and a wild lover Midori ,we see the loose morals of the sixties young people finding the feet in the world via drink ,casual sex all this is acted out in front of a soundtrack of modern jazz Miles Davies and beatles songs .Toru in his young days is like a moth caught between two lights the bulb like Naoko dependable and always constant and the candle like Midori a flickering siren for the young man .When you throw into the pot of this book a dying father in Midori case you have a tale that boils over and constantly has you wanting to turn over to the next page .for me one scene really touched me in the hospital Mr Kobayashi Midori’s absent father that return from Uruguay ,that is dying and he shares a cucumber with this old man touching and slightly funny at the same time seemed something that you have to be a master writer to pull off .

I m going to eat some cucumber if you don’t mind ,I said to Midori’s father .He didn’t answer I washed three cucumbers in the sink and dribbled a little soy sauce into a dish .then wrapped a cucumber in nori ,dipped it in soy sauce and gobbled it down.

mmm great I said to Midiori’s father .Fresh simple smell like life .Really goo cucumbers .A far more sensible food than Kiwi fruit .

Toru trying to get the dying mr Kobayashi to eat .an important incident in the book I think .

The book is how we deal with the shit life brings you when young you have it all loss death ,despair ,longing ,angst .All this through the older Toru eyes looking back on his youth .In some way this remind me of W somerset Maugham’s of human bondage Toru and Philip from that book seem like similar characters and both have to deal with the attraction to two women .

Winston’s score –

Kevin from wonder year thou a lot younger than Toru deals with a lot of the same things he does in the wonder years ,like a love divide with Winnie and new loves during the series and there is also the fact that the title music for this is a beatles cover

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. parrish
    Jan 22, 2011 @ 16:20:40

    Food is another of subtle network of themes that seem to crop up in a lot of his novels, I seem to remember a lot of pasta, Do you think it possible to create a Murakami cookbook.


  2. Heather
    Jan 22, 2011 @ 17:46:48

    For my first this year I have downloaded the audio of The Wind-up Bird Chronicles is hugely long at 26 hours. Am looking forward to it.


  3. Aarti
    Jan 22, 2011 @ 20:11:06

    Oh, I LOVE that you compared this book to The Wonder Years. Now I definitely want to read it 🙂


  4. JoV
    Jan 22, 2011 @ 21:34:22

    I am reading this now Stu. So much rave about this one that I am reading this slowly and in my quiet time. I hope I am not disappointed. Like the comparison to Wonder Years, I used to watch it every week! 😉


  5. Kinna
    Jan 23, 2011 @ 20:48:18

    I was very into Murakami some years back. Then he dropped off my reading radar. Guess I should look him up again. Thanks for the review Stu.


  6. savidgereads
    Jan 25, 2011 @ 21:45:29

    I think this one is becoming a film shortly isnt it Stu? Or its been made into one already that comes out in due course? I shall have to read it before I see it, in fact I shall locate it from the garage tomorrow!


  7. Mel u
    Jan 29, 2011 @ 11:58:59

    Norwegian Wood is perhaps the most enjoyable read among his novels-or at least it was for me-


  8. Trackback: Norwegian Wood (No, not the song by Beatles, but the book by Murakami) « Bibliojunkie
  9. conorcaffrey
    Feb 18, 2011 @ 20:41:34

    I am a real fan of Murakami. Norwegian wood is the next on my list.
    Really liked Elephant Vanishes and Kafka on the Shore


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January 2011


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