Norwegian Wood

Cover of book Norwegian Wood
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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

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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.
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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.
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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.

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Norwegian Wood
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