Norwegian Wood

Cover of book Norwegian Wood
Categories: Fiction

Last June I was talking with a new friend about books. The conversation inevitably ended at Murakami. I told her that I haven't read any of his books and she replied that I should, not because he is s


o hot lately, but rather because she was sure I'd like his work, based on what I had told her about my tastes in literature. She also recommended that I start with Norwegian Wood.

A couple of days later we went to a a bookstore in Athens together. As I was browsing the shelves, trying to convince myself not to buy anything (yeah right), I saw Norwegian Wood, picked it up, and headed for the cashier. I didn't read it immediately, because that same friend gifted me a copy of On Heroes and Tombs by Ernesto Sabato, and I wanted to read that first.

Eventually I started reading this book a month ago. I picked it up from my nightstand right before I took a taxi to the airport, heading to Latin America. I was waiting for that trip for quite some time and I was surprised to realize that despite all the new and wondrous places I was seeing every day, I couldn't help but plan mentally my next trip, in Japan this time. The story is a simple love story (however simple a love story can ever be) but Murakami manages to travel you to his land and make you see everything so vividly. He is a powerful storyteller.

It took me one month to finish the book, and I travelled with it in two countries. I finished reading it on a plane, somewhere between Mexico and Colombia. And I couldn't have liked it more. Full stars.
The biggest mistake I think I made was reading Kafka on the Shore before Norwegian Wood as this book couldn’t quite live up to it but it was still really something else.
If I am honest, I found it quite hard to get into this book at the beginning. I felt like it was a really slow start and I didn’t particularly care all that much for the characters but the further I got the better it was and I am really glad I stuck with it until the end.
I really loved the characters, the atmosphere and how unapologetically sad and real it was in places. I slowly became hooked and then I was super invested.
Overall once I gave Norwegian Wood the patience and time it deserved, it became something truly spectacular.

Murakami really is one of the greatest writers out there.
This was my first Murakami read, and I immediately knew that I wanted to read more of his works!
I remember finishing this book and being stuck for an entire minute. The ending made me so damn sad, and I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters.
Mental health is so so important, and it’s beginning to get annoying that it is still considered a taboo in some places.

Norwegian Wood
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