#BookReview Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Hello! I finally made it to the ending on a windy November 12 evening. [You’re right. Another long overdue post]

I phoned Midori.

“I have to talk to you,” I said. “I have a million things to talk to you about. A million things we have to talk about. All I want in this world is you. I want to see you and talk. I want the two of us to begin everything from the beginning.”

Midori responded with a long, long silence – the silence of all the misty rain in the world falling on all the new-mown lawns of the world. Forehead pressed against the glass, I shut my eyes and waited.

At last, Midori’s quiet voice broke the silence: “Where are you now?”

Where was I now?

Gripping the receiver, I raised my head and turned to see what lay beyond the phone box. Where was I now? I had no idea. No idea at all. Where was this place? All that flashed into my eyes were the countless shapes of people walking by to nowhere. Again and again I called out for Midori from the dead centre of this place that was no place.


That’s it.

So, Norwegian Wood, what can I say?

Norwegian Wood is the first published novel of Murakami I’ve made to the end point. I knew about this Haruki Murakami guy and his masterpieces since ever (who doesn’t), but the old me assumed that his books were that kind of overrated books everyone talked about. So I never bothered to read any of his books.

Long story short, it was September, the uni schedule almost turned me into a princess in distress, I desperately needed a break but could not have any. The easiest (and cheapest) way to distract my whole being from this stressful situation was by reading a book. One click, the iBooks showed all the ebooks I’ve abandoned and Norwegian Wood was on the top of the list. Without thinking twice, I decided to give it a try.

I started to read the book to kill the boredom on the way to or back from campus (which later causing wave of nausea so I gave up reading while riding). One thing led to another, the real world merged with the one happened on Murakami’s brain long time ago. I read in between classes and/or before sleeping. To tell you the truth, I don’t regret to cast aside the needs of sleep to complete this book.

First thing first, let’s talk about the characters. Guess which character I like the most!

Yes, it happens to be Midori Kobayashi, the heir of Kobayashi bookshop, who’d been through lots of hardships she didn’t deserve.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
The happy-go-lucky one who is being hurt the most. Ring a bell?

I love Midori not because she is a lonely, blatantly honest kind of pervert whose words are sometimes out of the places and irritating. I despise that features of hers. Ah, talking about her behavior, that’s probably the outcome of growing pains for a long time without having someone to share the pain. Instead, I love her thoughts: raw and honest. Throughout the reading, I got so drawn into the dialogues between her and Toru (click here). Midori had the ability to wrap what’s going on her mind in tragically beautiful way (praise Murakami!). She was blessed with the purest heart among all. I wondered how did she manage to keep on loving Toru while exactly knowing the fact that Toru loved someone else, that his eyes were fixed to a girl who’s definitely not her. How did you do that, dearest Midori? How could you choose to stay by his side?

Let’s move on to the main characters: Toru and Naoko. As for Toru, I want to cut his head open and see what’s going on inside his brain. Because, I had no idea how did he manage to make love to the love-of-his-life’s ex-roommate-slash-bestfriend weeks after Naoko’s death and call Midori afterwards just to inform her that he loved her. The hell, Watanabe? And Naoko, the indecisive one. She’s supposed to be the protagonist but she’s actually the cruelest one! I dislike her. (LOL it looks like my nature to dislike everybody’s favorite). However, poor dead Naoko, she was betrayed by Reiko. I felt sorry for her.

The other side characters: Reiko, Kizuki, Nagasawa, etc etc. All the characters were flawed and in pain, none of them appeared as a perfect man. But all the flaws and imperfections made all of them live, made them more human. So then, it’d be easier for the readers to relate and get drawn into the story.

After finishing hundreds pages, I summed up the whole things into two main points:

  1. Along with the poignant plots wrapped in beautiful wordings, Marukami tried to point out that even after an awful series of grief, we should live our life to the fullest. The Sun won’t stop shining nor the time won’t stop running to condole you. That, my friend, a words made by yours truly.
  2. Second, he also told us to be more aware of our surroundings, our loved ones. A man with a perfect life could be a suicide in disguise, that once we caught off the guard, boom! Their souls flew beyond the atmosphere leaving us with the confusion of what has been rotting their mind all the time.


I’d give 8.5/10 for this book.

I told you before I got quite drawn into it that I am looking forward to watch the movie version of Norwegian Wood. What excites me the most is Kiko-senpai played as Midori! LOL. And I also plan to read another from Murakami, could you please give me any suggestion?





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s