Haruki Murakami has been an author I’ve wanted to read for a while. I have a couple of his books on my TBR list. When a friend of mine told me she was reading Norwegian Wood I decided to read it with her. I had not heard of this book before but I was excited to finally experience some Murikami. I borrowed the e-book from my library and got started right away. But not before skimming over some reviews over on Goodreads. A lot of readers seem to dislike this book, which if I am correct is the book that actually launched his career. Quite a few reviewers were of the opinion that this was his weakest work.
What I found was that I absolutely loved this book. The characters were very compelling though at times unlikeable. The story is a Bildungsroman through and through. The story follows Toru Watanabe as he figures out his various relationships with men and women. On the romantic side we have Naoko who Toru has known since high school. They share a common tragedy and this both brings them together and tears them apart. Then we have Midori, a spunky girl who is on the opposite side of the spectrum as Naoko. Toru’s relationship with these two women is muddled.
Then we have Toru’s roommate, Storm Trooper. This character disappears fairly early on but he does have a lasting impact on Toru. His only friend is a law student that’s two years older than him. They bond over liking the same book. Nagasawa is a character that reflects everything that Toru is not. His morality is at times sickening and one cannot but feel sorry for the many women he beds not least his girlfriend Hatsumi.
Not having read any other works by Murakami it is impossible for me to compare how this measures up to his other works but I am definitely going to read more by this author.