I’ve just finished Murakami’s latest offering and I’m torn between really liking it, or feeling shortchanged. Out of all the Murakami novels that I have read, this one is perhaps his “simplest”. Why do I use air quotes, you ask? Well, even though the plot is basic in terms of narrative, the reader is still treated to the lexicon, syntax, emotional complexity, and philosophical internal turmoil that are all trademark Murakami.
The plot centers around Tsukuru Tazaki who was once a member of a tight knit group of friends before he seeks out new adventures at college in Tokyo. Upon returning to his hometown on a break, he discovers that his friends no longer want anything to do with him, and will not give him an explanation as to why. What ensues is Tsukuru going about his life wondering what he has done. Throughout the story, Tsukuru goes on a journey to discover what is the true essence of friendship, love and the choice we make in order to live our lives.
The plot has been hashed out a million times before, however, fans of Murakami will know that he is able to add a new passion to this, some argue, overused trope of “finding yourself”. This novel won’t necessarily appeal to the masses; Murakami, although becoming evermore popular, still has a niche fan base. However, I do think that it could well be a great beginners novel if you have never read any Murakami but are curious to see what his writing is like. Being only around 375 pages, it is just right to get a taste.
My only gripe with this novel was that it seemed to offer more than what it could deliver. I can’t go into details as it would spoil plot points, but even though I’m not looking for a nice little bow tie wrapped ending, I do feel as though it could have been 100 pages longer. But I suppose that is me just being greedy!
Give this one a go. You might love it and discover a new favourite author, or you may hate it and therefore not have to add to your TBR pile. You can’t really lose!
Until next time,
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A novel
I started this book when it first came out and I enjoyed it, but wasn’t absolutely in love with it. I became busy with life…or disenchanted with life…whatever….but for whatever reason, I set it aside after book one to pick up again at a later date…..that never happened…..until now. All I can say is I was a total fool for setting it aside. Book one was just a prologue for the real action in the second and third book. By the middle part of the 2nd book, I was enthralled with the entire thing. By the last part, I was in love.
This still might not be my favourite Murakami book, however, as always, I will have to soak it in and think about it before I can say that for certain. I love the concept of this book. I realise that some of what I am feeling is personal. Murakami doesn’t know me, so of course, this can’t be true…however, it amazes me how many of the things found within the cover of this book are things I have believed either now or at some point in my past. I don’t think one should ever be too old to believe in the unexplainable. No, I am not really saying that I believe there is some alternate universe. However, I do believe that we have connections with others that can’t always be explained. I also am okay with this enough now to just accept it for what it is…and no longer trying to rationalize it or explain it. Simply put, what is…is….
What strikes me most as I walk away from this book….having read the last page…..is that like him or not, Murakami is like no other. Truth be told….Murakami isn’t even like Murakami! Each book I’ve read by him has been so very different. Yes, he has reoccurring things that take place…mention of moon(s), sex, cats, alternate worlds…and love…most importantly love….but the style….the types of books…well they are just so different.
I love reading. I love discovering new writers. I can’t imagine a world that didn’t include reading. Of having a life that isn’t surrounded by books….
But I have to say, there might be an author or two that I love more…..there might be books that I love a bit more than some of Murakami’s works….but all that aside, if you told me I could only read one author for the rest of my days….well there is no hesitation in my mind that I would have to pick Haruki Murakami. There is no author that surprises me more with his beautiful writing. There is no other author that makes me *feel* more than Mr Murakami. It’s amazing just how much I feel whilst reading his books. I think Murakami is an author that the more you read, the more you appreciate and love…and seriously…I feel the same about his works as well. In other words, I think that if I ever read 1Q84 again that I will love it even more than I do at this moment…..and I am seriously in love right now…just saying….
Until next time…
Buy it now 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami