19 September 2017

BOOK REVIEW: NORWEGIAN WOOD BY HARUKI MURAKAMI


This is the cover page of the novel, not the usual red vintage international. Purchased at MPH SACC Mall for RM 37.95


Synopsis:

Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before.  Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable.  As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman



My review: 

Norwegian Wood is the first from Murakami I’ve read. My sole reason for picking it was due to my curiosity. Mostly raved, talked about all over internet. People who read it would describe NW as heartbreaking and would left you unspeakable after that last flip of page. AND that’s exactly how I felt towards the ending of NW.

The story is about Watanabe and Naoko who are best friends since childhood together with Kizuki, entangle in this complicated and twisted relationship bound by their inexorable grieving of Kizuki’s death. In the journey to cope with the loss, Watanabe and Naoko became friends with a few people that make up the story. I like how NW not only focuses the story of the hero and heroine, but it also highlights these minor characters. In a way, together with Watanabe and Naoko, these people shared how the cause of fate and luck dragged them to an unfathomable.

NW is a tragedy and rampant with suicide as the main focus, if I were to sum it up. It leaves you hollow with an indescribable sadness. Despite that, Murakami makes the tragedy sounds beautiful with his narratives and play of words. Mind you, this book is not for a light read. But I guess anyone who tried to read Murakami would know that his stories are brutal in sort of way. Therefore, if you are a very young reader (16 and below) you shouldn’t be reading any of his. Characters in this book seem to be pertinent to the idea of suicide being the cure to all. Naoko told Watanabe that the suicidal thoughts run in her family, and she as well have the tendency to commit it.

I am not the biggest fan of the idea, but I get where Murakami is going with the suicidal theme. Suicide in Asian countries like Japan is the highest caused of death among its citizen. Despite it being a catharsis, he wants it to appear beautiful nevertheless. But it’s a fiction, it didn’t have to make sense. It just needs to feel real to readers. Yeah, got sex also this book

The book did not have a happy ending. It ends with TRAGEDY. And therefore, read it with cautious.

This is my first time reading something so heavy, but I am glad I did it. I would love to read more from Murakami’s and in the process of locating used book available in Malaysia (because I am a cheapskate Smile with tongue out)

p/s: I like to point out an oblivion that I am nowhere an expert in writing a book review. Imagine my review as written by someone with no apparent interest in reading, somehow stuck between herself and a piece of book. The review is like a child pretending as revelation for what she just discovered from that manuscript. To put it simply, what I write can appear to be somewhat bullshit, but you will understand it in between of many bullshits I wrote. Enjoice!

3 comments:

  1. I enjoyed your book review! Still remember my friend who love Japan so much, used to mention few things about suicidal in that country. Especially there is a suicide forest named Aokigahara.

    I haven't read any of Murakami's but if you are searching for online used books, maybe you can try carousell.com :)

    hanisamanina.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just bought one from carousell. Sadly, the book I want mostly has been sold out.

      True, i guess japanese who read murakami will find his writing on suicide as nothing unusual bcs they're accustomed to it. But for us muslim, suicide is considered as an abomination and may trigger some ppl as 'merosakkan akidah' . Hopefully no one would ban Murakami in Malaysia though hahaha

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    2. Oh I forgot to say thanks hehe. Anyway nice to know you. I've been on hunt for new blog to follow. Seriously though, not many ppl still write anymore, finding u is like one in thousand.

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