Thursday, March 13, 2014

NORWEGIAN WOOD by HARUKI MURAKAMI

Norwegian Wood is a twisted, sad love story.

Shocked by the sudden death of Kizuki, both Toru (the bestfriend) and Naoko (the girlfriend) took it hard on themselves. Toru realized how much of his life depended on his dear companion. He eventually fell in love with Naoko, but she had to leave and be in a sanatorium because she was sick. While trying to keep his promise of patiently waiting for Naoko to get better, Toru met Midori whose company he truly enjoyed. When it had sunk into him that Naoko chose death over his love, he decided to move on and pursue a relationship with Midori.
Death exists, not as the opposite but as a part of life. – Toru

I am not a fan of serious and sad love stories. I try to avoid novels with such theme as much as possible because sometimes they’re contagious. I get so affected and sad as well. Haha. Surprisingly, though, I enjoyed reading this one. J

Norwegian Wood is definitely not a chick-lit. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not intended to make readers giggle. The characters were not in a good place during the entire story. They were broken and incomplete. They’ve all been struggling for love. There really was no chance for twitterpatting moments.

There were also many accounts of death here, most of which were suicide. Aside from love, this novel also talked about death and how people who were left behind deal with it, suffer from it. At this point, I believe this part is what made the book a deep one.

When your feelings build up and harden and die inside, then you're in big trouble. – Reiko

The characters’ experiences were just so sad and terrible that I sometimes thought it was just too much for their age. Their lives, at such a young age, had been that toxic which only made it more distressing for the readers. You see, if I were in their position, I think I would’ve done crazier things. Haha!

It’s nice that the novel has side stories about other characters. It provided avenues for the readers to understand where the other characters, like Nagasawa, Midori and Reiko, are coming from and why they’re such and such. This provides readers the chance to enjoy and like the other characters more.

You can’t expect thrill once you open this book. Norwegian Wood doesn’t have that kind of kick, none of anything that’ll make you want to flip through the pages faster. It’ll only invite you to go with the flow and just be with the characters, instead. This is not to say that the book is boring or anything like that.

All in all, the book was a serious but still enjoyable one. It somehow taught me that we should not let the sad experiences drag us down. People deserve a chance to move forward, but it doesn’t mean they’ll forget the ones who left.

When you're surrounded by endless possibilities, one of the hardest things you can do is pass them up. – Nagasawa

FYI, guys, this book’s title, Norwegian Wood, is taken from a lovely song of The Beatles from their Rubber Soul album. The song goes like this.

Are you done reading this book? Share your thoughts! 

Photo source: http://thebookstop.wordpress.com
Video source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY5i4-rWh44

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