Norwegian Woodiness

22 06 2006

Book front cover

Norwegian Wood
Haruki Murakami
2 out of 5 stars

Having read a couple of other Murakamis I felt I knew what to expect here – morose quasi–philosophical musings on love, loss, death and loneliness – and it doesn’t fail to deliver. The setting is different – Watanabe is a student in late 60s Tokyo and there are student riots and dorm–based craziness in the background – but the feel of the novel is pretty similar to the Murakami norm.

Having said that it is a not uninteresting and reasonably entertaining read but, as one critic has put it (OK, my hyper–critical friend, Steve) absolutely nothing of any consequence happens. To some (including Steve) this is something of a minus but I can’t say I was that disappointed by the lack of real action.

However, I do have to say it is not a patch on ‘Kafka on the Shore’.



One response

24 06 2006
Roisin Muldoon

I’ve not read ‘Kafka on the Shore’ yet, but I’ve read ‘Dance Dance Dance’, ‘The Wind–up Bird Chronicle’, ‘South of the Border, West of the Sun’ and this – I thought ‘Norweigan Wood’ was his best…although the narrative is reasonably static, I loved his descriptions and found some of the story to be really moving. I’d definitely revisit it 🙂

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