Norwegian Wood – A Book Review

Murakami weaves a painful tale with poignant memories of first love in this book. The character nuances are etched so well that one synchronizes their thoughts with each of them as you flip every page.  Murakami’s brilliance here is fully justified and it is no wonder that the book has been translated in over 40 languages. At times I wonder why didn’t Murakami write about the love that lasted in Toru’s life. A lot was left to imagination which is both beautiful and sad at the same time. I am someone who likes happy endings or rather who believes in the old adage, “All’s well at the end and if it’s not well, its not the end”.  Coming to think of it, isn’t first love too over rated whereas the love that stays, the one that sticks by, the one that is destined to be – the one that makes you feel alive, isn’t that the kind of love which is under rated and not even acknowledged?

One may secretly think of hidden losses and despairs, of “what if” and “what if not” with a past lover. Those stories that only you may know, of hurt and anguish and pain, of lost love and hopelessness, of betrayal and mostly of anguished faith. These stories we hold close to us, as if they hold a key to a secret universe that will ramble upon us the minute, we let it go or let it free.  

 Humans often live in their past, and live with their pains for far too long that it becomes one with their deeper self. The poignant and beautiful memories of what could never be is probably more enchanting to the human mind than what is now and what could be. What could possibly be just a future glimmer of hope and sanity is ignored or sadly, merely taken for granted.

Alas, too much is always written about first love and not enough ever about the love that lasted. I find this wrong and unjust. Write about all kinds of love. The ones that taught you the lessons you needed to learn, the ones the broke your heart and turned you into a poet but most importantly write about the love that lasted, that chose you over anything and everything else. Write about the love that lets you sleep a little longer, the love that makes you laugh and makes you cry but holding you close while you do. The love that restored what ‘love’ means to you when you had all but given up hope. For what stays is what matters the most. Staying is a choice, so that is a love that must be celebrated. And everything else is your lesson.

As for Murakami, let me conclude by saying that this is a good read. Read it, celebrate it but let’s not get lost in it.

A magic created by Haruki Murakami......

5 thoughts on “Norwegian Wood – A Book Review

  1. So cool to read your impressions about ‘Norwegian Wood’ 🙂 I have to start to tell you that it was my first Murakami reading and I also read it in English, because I was living in Latvia… I had a great time reading this novel, it was a great surprise and, at the same time, very challenging thanks to Murakami’s style… Anyway, since I read ‘Norwegian Wood’ I read all his other books eheh 🙂 be safe and greetings from Lisbon, PedroL

    Liked by 1 person

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