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.