Norwegian Wood, Paperback Book
1 out of 5 (1 rating)


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.


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In the few days after reading this, my appreciation of this book fell from "Not his best" to "I wish I hadn't read this book". I think this is mainly because of the almost offhand way suicides are treated here. Sure, they hurt the people that are close, but that's just because they're dead, not because they decided to kill themselves. How can he treat suicides like they are some kind of natural disaster, instead of a choice, and a tragic and/or aggressive choice at that? He does talk about the choice of his main character <i>not</i> to commit suicide, when there is nothing in his life that would warrant such an act. Is this choice the only thing that keeps him alive?Apart from that, there doesn't seem much point to the whole story, which makes the suicides, and the casual sex as well, even more pointless. Maybe the pointlessness is the point of this book, like in Catcher in the Rye, but even then I would have liked some kind of glimpse, some kind of intuitive inkling, that this isn't all there is to life.

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