Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami

Murakami Norwegian wood

“When it’s raining like this,” said Naoko, “it feels as if we’re the only ones in the world. I wish it would just keep raining so the three of us could stay together.”

Murakami needs no introduction. If you have read none of his work yet, then change this right now. Order a copy of one of (any of) his books and get reading.

I first fell in love with Murakami when a colleague gave me a copy of Sputnik Sweetheart. The novel filled me with confusion and left me with unanswered questions for weeks. I still think about it now.

Norwegian Wood is a very different story. On the surface, it is less complex – it left me with fewer sleepless nights – but still deals with hugely complex themes.

The main characters are trying to fling themselves into adulthood, whilst still reeling from the loss (by suicide) of a friend and lover. Murakami deals with mental illness and depression with great compassion, whilst not shying away from the horror it can bring. We never learn why the friend committed suicide – he is a popular, bright and loved individual; or at least, that is how he is viewed by his friend.

Every time I read Murakami, I am left with more questions than when I started, but this book left me considering, particularly in light of our modern world and the image we portray on social media, how easy it can be to hide struggles from those we are closest too.

This book is by no means an easy read, but I would say it is a necessary one.

10/10

Norwegian Wood

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