I am a brand new Haruki Murakami’s fan and having read Kafka on the Shore as my first novel written by him, I found myself gripped under the surreal and unimaginable experience his writing provided to me as a reader. And that intrigued me to read another of his famous novels, Norwegian Wood. Before reviewing or rather I would say giving my naïve opinion on this book, I better start with my assumptions w.r.t this book.
When we read someone like him, we start expecting something new and better every time we read more of their works but along the process we tend to forget that there are very few writers in this world who challenge themselves to tread a different path and walking upon it too and that’s exactly Murakami did with this novel, whose popularity surprised him also.
So, it’s not exactly a Love story in the eyes of many, but someone like me who has accepted and marveled at the different kinds of love that exists in this world, it definitely is one and a beautiful one at that. It’s a love story with a pragmatic and realistic view on human emotions. But again, there are several other things murakami surfaced along with love, like rain and how it symbolizes sadness (IMO), like Death and quoting here: “Death exists, not as the opposite but as the part of life,” but in this book, Death exists as a part of this Book. It’s a character in itself and needs to be understood not in a negative sense of death because it’s simply not, quoting again: “I’m getting rid of anything from the past so I can be reborn in the future.”
Why one would hate this book, there can be many reasons but to love this book, one need to put themselves in shoes of Toru, Naoko, Midori, Reiko, Hatsumi, Nagasawa and Kizuki (who started it all). And then one can understand its true essence to cherish the two basic treasures of humans: Love & Life.