Saturday, November 26, 2016

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Unabridged Audio Version
Haruki Murakami seems to be a prolific and very popular writer who's works have been widely translated into other languages outside of Japan. I have known of Japanese author Haruki Murakami for quite a few years now, but had never read any of his published works until now. 

I finally made the decision to listen to the unabridged audio version of Haruki Murakami's novel, Norwegian Wood, for two main reasons:

1. I was kind of overwhelmed as to which of Haruki Murakami's novels to read first as most of his novels sound like interesting ones to read. It wasn't until after I read an article online, which recommended starting with his novel, Norwegian Wood, that I decided to give this novel a go.

2. Earlier this year (and also in previous years), Haruki Murakami has been heavily predicted to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Alas, he has yet to win this prestigious literary award. I figured that Haruki Murakami's writing must be pretty darn good and worth reading if he has been heavily favored to win such a prestigious literary prize. So, I decided that it was time for me to read one of his novels.

I liked listening to the unabridged audio version of Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami and narrated by John Chancer overall. Listening time is 13 hours, 20 minutes.

I thought John Chancer did a good job of narrating Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. As far as the novel goes, Norwegian Wood is interesting and very captivating. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami is filled with interesting characters and contains an engaging coming of age story set in 1969 and 1970.

There were two things I didn't like about Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. I didn't like the abrupt ending. The reader is left wondering what the leading character of Toru Watanabe means by what he says at the end of the novel and if he remains sane or succumbs to a nervous breakdown. I also didn't like how all the women in Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami seemed crazy or flawed in some way, which made me wonder if the author doesn't like women much.

The following is a plot summary for Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami from Audible:
This stunning and elegiac novel by the author of the internationally acclaimed Wind-Up Bird Chronicle has sold over 4 million copies in Japan and is now available to American audiences for the first time. It is sure to be a literary event. 
Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman. 
A poignant story of one college student's romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man's first, hopeless, and heroic love.
I am giving Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

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