Haruki Murakami – Norwegian Wood (Tokio Blues)

Original Title: ノルウェイの森
Author: Haruki Murakami
Genre: Drama, Romance

Norwegian Wood (or Tokio Blues, in Spanish) is already being adapted into a film with a possible release for Dec’10, so it wasn’t a stretch to think about actual people playing the characters in the book.

It tells the non-chronological story of Watanabe Toru, who all of a sudden remembers Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend in high school, who ended up killing himself. It deals with the aftermath of the suicide, Naoko’s life pre- and post-suicide, and Watanabe’s life pre- and post-suicide as well.

Just as the other Murakami novels, the story has that vibe of quiet sadness, a great soundtrack and a sense of great cinematography. The characters are often quiet and internalize everything. They are so real that you can’t help getting into someone else’s shoes and call someone a jerk or a bitch.

I had problems starting  the novel. I read the first two chapters fine, but lost something during the middle part that made it almost tedious to continue with it. However, I was over it once I read about Midori and how her developing relationship with Watanabe clashed with Watanabe’s feelings for Naoko… and then Reiko. As much as I wonder why these three end up sucked into the gravitational forces of Watanabe, and how I think that is somewhat sexist, I can’t help but want the best for him. And, in my opinion, that was with Hatsumi.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Get it on Amazon: Norwegian Wood | Tokio Blues


YAM Magazine editor, photographer, blogger, translator and part-time web designer. Film junkie, music junkie… and lately series (a.k.a. TV) junkie.

2 Responses

  1. jp says:

    God…me too. I always though while reading the book that it would be best if toru ended up with hatsumi. But that would raise whole another set of questions……

    • amy says:

      @jp, I don’t really understand why this was such a popular book in Japan to be honest. It’s okay, I thought South of the Border was better. Almost killed me inside that one.

      Still have yet to see the film adaptation xD

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