--Toru, Norwegian Wood
IT'S BEEN AGES since I last read a book and finished it. I have this bad habit of reading one and then impulsively start another. Needless to say, I have now five novels of different authors (mostly borrowed from Hales); all of them accumulating dust and silently wishing to be passionately read till their last pages. Unfortunately for them, I met Haruki Murakami and got my own laptop.
Two weeks ago, I went to my bestfriend’s place and conducted our usual trade of resources; they usually range from audio files, latest movies we’d seen, and television series we follow. That day she offered me her e-book collection she got from her colleague. The collection included Chuck Palahniuk, JD Salinger, Joseph Heller, Ian McEwan, Kurt Vonnegut, Jack Kerouac, and Haruki Murakami. I accepted of course. I’d take anything from Hales. That’s how much I trust her aesthetic taste in things.
Murakami. This name came out twice or thrice already on my blog-hopping. And so from the seven authors, I chose to read him first to see what the fuzz is all about-- Intellectual curiosity. I decided to start with Norwegian Wood because Haley won’t stop raving about it on her Tumbler. It’s been adapted into a movie and is due to premiere in Japan this December. It stars “L” from the Deathnote movies. This should be interesting!
Norwegian Wood is a simple love story; no extravagant, mouth-dropping plot twists or car chases across Rome. It was just a sheer honest piece of fiction, very gentle but grips hard on you. It was my first time to witness Murakami’s brilliance in story-telling. The narrative parts were made very tasteful with poetic words, enabling him to conjure this vivid image of the world through the eyes of the main character. He also made an excellent job in amplifying each character’s personality through engaging conversations. The novel is written in an autobiographical approach. I love novels written in such way. It’s easier to step on the character’s shoes and relate to the story. The version of the book I’ve read was translated in English by Jay Rubin, since it was originally written in Japanese. It’s incredible really. However, it makes me wonder how it would be like to read Murakami in its original context. Imagine if Bob Ong’s works were to be translated in English. Doesn’t feel right, is it?
Norwegian Wood, (Yep, the Beetles song) is about Toru, a conflicted young college student who fell in love with two girls: his classmate, Midori, and his dead bestfriend’s girlfriend, Naoko. To whom did he end up with? Well, I suggest you read it. The guy’s clearly confused, because I got confused too which I is exactly the point I think.
I am now currently reading Murakami’s After Dark. Awoo!