Sunday, April 10, 2011

Reading: Norwegian Wood/ Haruki Murakami

Who is the best and most interesting character in Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood? Naoko, Midori, Reiko? Nagasawa,Kizuki, Hatsumi? Watanabe himself?

In my recent read, I find the novel a bit mushy, and not as good as Haruki's other works. May be this was his debut novel - which made him famous, though - and he was still trying to find his own voice and style.

NW has plenty of sex scenes which seem like the printed version of yesterday's blue films, but the thing that astounds me is that they look like natural in the setting of the narrative involving an adolescent and his friends. There is not much you can complain against the writer because he writes it as convincingly as it happens in real life. Kind of new reading experience for me.

The narrative is not that strong: Nagasawa is womaniser and careerist without any sense of morality, Hatsumi and Midori are regular girls aspiring for happy conjugal life. Naoko is a bit incredible as a character who,like her former boy-friend Kizuki, commits suicide in the end. Her long relaionship with Watanabe has not exactly got to a logical end and the readers are not given any clue about her exact illness.

The best portrayed character is Reiko. And she actually saves the novel.

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