When he hears her favourite Beatles song, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend Kizuki.
Immediately he is transported back almost twenty years to his student days in Tokyo, adrift in a world of uneasy friendships, casual sex, passion, loss and desire - to a time when an impetuous young woman called Midori marches into his life and he has to choose between the future and the past.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 400 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 17/05/2001
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099448822
Showing 1 - 5 of 14 reviews.
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Review by michaeldwebb
First Murakami book I read. I guess this felt like the greatest book ever written while I was reading it - I think millions of other must have felt the same way - maybe it is? Not sure why really - it's just a meandering storing of student days in Japan. I think maybe it captures universal feelings of reflection better than anything else I've read.
Review by DRFP
One of Murakami's most famous novels. I expected great things of this story but ultimately I was left disappointed. My main problem with the story is Naoko's character - I can understand her, but that doesn't mean I like her sort of character. The large middle section of the book set near Kyoto also dragged quite a bit in my opinion. Events near the end of the book also left me feeling disappointed, mainly because I perceived what occured as out of character.Murakami's main character was, as usual, very likeable, and Midori was wonderful too but I was still thinking "What was all the fuss about?"
Review by zerraweth
Apparently, it's not the usual Murakami and I didn't love it as much as "Kafka" but oh, I still enjoyed it.
Review by sanddancer
A tale of first love in 1960s Tokyo, it was simply but beautifully written. There is a lot of suicide, death and mental illness in the book, but it isn't altogether bleak. Although not full of action, I found it compelling reading and I wanted to find out what happened to the characters.
Review by Lenka_leSoleil
Incredible book. I can not help comparing it with story of legendary Salinger's Holden. But gentle scent of Japan life-style (or life-perception) makes the novel unique & resembling me haiku sometimes. The language is so calm, simple and transparent (English translation is great), even in the tragic moments - which makes the book even more influential.... "A small glass full of anemones stood by the window.""It makes me feel like I'm in a big meadow in a soft rain.""Taking hold of the glass with the daffodils, she studied the blooms for a while."I don't think I'll put them in a vase," she said. "If I leave them like this, it's like I just happened to pick them by a pond somewhere and threw them into the first thing that came to hand."... The only book by Murakami I've read - deliberately. And I'm re-reading it now and then to feel calm poetry of life.
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