Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

“Despite your best efforts people are going to be hurt when it’s time for them to be hurt”

In addition to being my favorite quote in the book, it pretty much sums up the essence of the book itself. Life is complicated and messy and most of the times you won’t know how to fix it and thats okay, that is what makes it worth. Would Notebook be such a classic movie if Elie’s parents never objected to her being with Noah and they never broke up and ended up  married at 20. Naah!! It would have been a dud. Ah I digress.

Coming to the book Norwegian Wood by Murakami. This was my first Murakami novel. I had heard a lot about him on social media and i though what is better way to get back to reading than starting with the book that everyone is crazy about. So i ordered my copy over amazon. It smelled amazing. It took me nearly 2 weeks to finish it off ( I have become a lazy reader). And i would say i was impressed.

It captures the teenage spirit to the T : the directionlessness, the constant search for oneself, confusing romantic feelings & coming to terms with reality of growing up and facing life.  And the biggest learning being you will lose lots of thing in life: friends who died or disappeared, ex lovers, feelings you would never know again and most important being time. The characters are well written and you can instantly relate to them. The story is set in the backdrop of 60’s-70’s Japan. The main protagonist being Watanabae, a introvertish kind of guy who is forms the POV for the story. I found him sweet,caring but caged, someone scared of letting people get close to him fearing he will lose them. The other two main characters, firstly Naoko, who was Watanabae’s best friend’s girlfriend who is dealing with serious depression and no self worth and confidence after the death of her literal other half Kizuki (the formerly mentioned best friend). The second being Midori, who is bubbly, crazy, childish but hungry for undivided care, attention and love. I don’t know why but Midori kind of reminds me of Marc Jacobs perfume Daisy 🙈

Its the classic love story with masala, emotion, action, mystery. It has everything. Except for the fact that the end is very vague and open to interpretation. And here’s mine. Watanabae never went back to Midori. He wanted to cause i feel he really loved her. But he loved Naoko too but she never loved him back in way he wanted. And he could just never get over her. We all have that someone who get under our skin and no matter what, without any reason we just love them. Naoko was that for him. The sweet poison of unrequited love. He just went to Germany and started his life over. Did he move on. No. As for Midori, i hope she travelled the world, did all kind of crazy things and met a lovely guy on one such adventure. She didn’t like him at first but he chased her, gave her the love she was missing all her life and then she married him and had 2 kids. But still sometimes when she sees the fire engine pass by she remembers Watanabae,her unrequited love.

All in all i would give it a 4/5 and would definitely recommend it 😊.


Published by Tanvi Deshpande

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