This was my first Murakami and I found myself falling madly in love with Murakami’s words. When you read a Murakami it seems as if the words are dancing on the page and you are dancing along with the words; like you are in some sort of trance. And a beautiful trance, a happy one. ‘I once had a girl / Or should I say, she once had me,’’ are the opening words of the book. If you are not sold on this, you’re probably not a Murakami person.
I know it’s starting to feel like I only enjoy sad books and sad narratives, but hey, that’s me. Someone had once said, “Sadness has texture” and I don’t think I have ever felt so strongly for a thought.
Norwegian Wood, too, is a sad and depressing narrative where the book starts off on a sad narrative and escalates into a sadder narrative. Toru and Naoko find love at the wrong time. They are unable to give a name to their relationship and find themselves falling into a pit of darkness and loneliness that makes it even more difficult for them to be with each other. That’s when Midori sashayed into Toru’s life and makes it a little less difficult. Midori is an uncomplicated, typical wears-her-heart-on-her-sleeve kinda character, unlike the deep and intense character of Toru. Together Midori and Toru find that happiness is easier to find than they thought.
Throughout the book, the amount of beer that is being consumed is crazy. But it also forms a major part of the narrative. Partly why the book makes you feel dazed is because as the character drinks, you feel like you’re drinking with them.
So head out with your copy of Norwegian wood and head to the first quiet place that you can think of and sit down with a beer in your hand and read the book while sipping it. Your experience will be complete.