Norwegian Wood

Read till the end to find some plans ahead for us to read together.

We’re talking about a book written by a Japanese author. The book is a mixture of magical realism and concepts our minds question the bigger universe about. I see this is the heart of my first Murakami book. And, I love it.

Word of trust

Before I talk about the book, I am aware of my responsibility as a lover of books to not spoil it for anyone. It’s a strange approach that I had to come up with, to not talk about the book and yet speak lengths about it. I love such challenges. You can be rest assured that you will (if you ever plan to) read the book without having lost a single surprise the author has set stage for. It will be as fresh as you’d want it to be. However, you still have the option to read the book before going ahead with this article in any case that you can’t trust someone on the internet. No pressure, but only a little.


As it happens, author Haruki Murakami was to be seen everywhere on the internet well before I decided to read his books. This made me curious. What was he to offer? Why do people have an obsession over Murakami?

The name definitely sounds like I’ve known it for ages.

After reading this book, I’ve found that the hype is valid. He’s just too brilliant, and you might not notice without taking a look. Some might even go ahead and call it underrated, this hype.

Norwegian Wood happens to tell me a lot about the hip-culture in the 20th century, in it’s own subtlety. It lays out clear descriptions of what I always imagined of Japan. It might as well be only my intention to perceive the book as calm, which I hope resonates with Japan’s culture.

This close relationship of Murakami with the calm, makes me want to take a look at my breath. Every breath is precious and yet inexpensively fundamental. You can try meditating a few seconds now. Close your eyes if you’d like, and watch (observe) your breath and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Try it.


Now, locations – the stage for drama. A writer might speak lengths about the location of the story, and so does Murakami here. Yet I found that this story particularly doesn’t rely much on the terrains of all the characters’ lives. I reckon it’s motive is to set the grounds clear for bigger conclusions. But, Murakami does this metaphorically at a level I have never come across. You’ll breathe in the nature that surrounds the paragraph. If the winds are harsh, watch out. The sun’s scorching heat might just burn your fingers.

To me, it felt like I have been there whenever Murakami speaks about a place. He is involved just the way you are. This is also one of the reasons why I loved reading the book – I kept wondering, whether it is me or Murakami that is listening to the story. I have been there, because the author just took me to the place holding my hands as if it were his.

Not just the places, but even the characters seemed to present themselves to me throughout the book as though I have known them for a period longer than my life. This mostly is because of the fact that they are vividly human and imaginative at the same time. Turns out, they were as new as the book was to me when I thought about it.

The human, however, has been here in our minds for centuries enough to keep them as precious.

What I find to catch my attention very often is how the characters’ introspection feels like my own. This happens to me every time I read a book. It’s a trip inward. And, the questions I ask myself are very spontaneous yet I know I’ve been wondering all these days about them. It’s a ‘check’ to what I thought of me and the world.

Books help me find the spirit of solace, and I play with it. Be it subconsciously, I know that I am having a “better” approach to my anxiety through a book rather just my thoughts on their own. It feels like the author is telling me I’m not alone in the misery of our lives. The author gives me hope in everything. And, this book does the same when I see that one character laughs while the other mourns – right there in front of my misery.

It has stories about human touch, the mind and it’s adventures with sadness. And, how it normalizes the miseries of human lives tells me how exaggerated a few aspects of our lives have become. Not just in the contemporary world, but it has been the habit of humans for a long time to find taboo in what is normal. If you find anything and everything as “weird” just too easily, I recommend reading a Murakami book.

Please read a Murakami book. Who knows? You might just fall in love with the “weird” of our lives as if it were only normal. You know it is normal to pick your nose, it is normal to stare at a tree and it is normal to be yourself.

To sum it up, I think this is one of those books I’ll never forget having picked up and it’s pages being flipped through with excitement. It is as memorable as my first time reading a book, ever. The Secret Seven, by Enid Blyton.

But, see, Murakami is the definition for why I’d love to read books. To explore, to feel safe while I am challenged to death, to dive deeper in my worlds built up these many years of my life. And, much more. There is always much more than my thoughts to a book. It’s impossible for me to tell how the book shows up to you. It’s personal in every sense possible. So, if you have read the book, please tell me about it in the comments. I am curious to know what others think of this book.


Reading books together

Thank you for reading till the end. So, I’ve been thinking about how we (you, me and other readers) can feel like we’re in a community on the blog while reading it. To try this out, how about we do something together before our next article? It’s a call too imaginative for now, but we can begin somewhere.

We can read books together (on our own) and in the next article when I talk about the book, you can feel much more at home. So, what we’ll do it read a book and then contemplate in the coming article. Every article on books, end with the title’s name for the next article.

Our next book: The Choice by Edith Eger

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Shreyas

Imagination has a boundary. And, I can't imagine it.

One thought on “Norwegian Wood

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