Norwegian Wood (Tokio Blues) by Haruki Murakami

February 24, 2010 — 3 Comments


I had recently bought a whole bunch of Haruki Murakami novels because I have fallen in love with his style. His narrative holds this air of melancholy… missing the past, but also a terrible sense of unhappiness. It’s utterly depressing, but this is why it’s so good.

Norwegian Wood (or Tokio Blues, in Spanish) is already being adapted into a film with a possible release for Dec’10, so it wasn’t a stretch to think about actual people playing the characters in the book.

It tells the non-chronological story of Watanabe Toru, who all of a sudden remembers Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend in high school, who ended up killing himself. It deals with the aftermath of the suicide, Naoko’s life pre and post-suicide, and Watanabe’s life pre and post-suicide as well.

Just as the other Murakami novels, the story has that vibe of quiet sadness, great soundtrack and a sense of great cinematography. The characters are often quiet, and internalize everything. They are so real, that you can’t help getting into someone else’s shoes and call someone a jerk or a bitch.

I had problems starting  the novel, I read the first two chapters fine, but lost something during the middle part that made it almost tedious to continue with it. However, I was over it once I read about Midori, and how her developing relationship with Watanabe clashed with Watanabe’s feelings for Naoko… and then Reiko. As much as I wonder why these three end up sucked into the gravitational forces of Watanabe, and how I think that is somewhat sexist… I can’t help but want the best for him. And, in my opinion, that was with Hatsumi…

I can’t wait to see this on screen!

3.5/5

3 responses to Norwegian Wood (Tokio Blues) by Haruki Murakami

  1. Kenichi Matsuyama!!! That’s a definite plus. He’s a great actor.

  2. I know! Definitely on my list of younger generation…
    Alongside Yu, Juri and Miyazaki Aoi. xD

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  1. personal.amy-wong.com – A Blog by Amy Wong. » Blog Archive » To Watch Until They’re 35 – Rinko Kikuchi - May 24, 2010

    […] Potente. Followed that up in December with the film adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s novel Norwegian Wood by Vietnamese director Anh Hung Tran (The Scent of Green Papaya) alongside the 20 to Watch fellow […]

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