Nowegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

TITLE: Norwegian Wood

AUTHOR: Haruki Murakami

GENRE: Romance, Bildungsroman

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Although Murakami is known for enticing his readers with magical realism, he approaches Norwegian Wood in a more straightforward manner.

It is a coming-of-age story which revolves around characters who struggle to deal with their flaws, and how each one of them chooses a different approach to subside their lingering monsters.


A 37 year old, Toru Watanabe finds himself reminiscing about a day he spent with a girl named Naoko, a girl he can never forget. They both had one thing in common, Kizuki who was Toru’s best friend and Naoko’s boyfriend. After Kizuki’s suicide, the story develops into a dark romance between Naoko, a girl who is carrying the weight of her past, Midori, a girl from Toru’s drama class who is vivacious but stoic and Toru himself who is torn between choosing a girl from his past and the girl from his present.

Mental illness is highlighted throughout the book but it reaches us through thoughts and actions taken by the characters.

If I relaxed for a second, I’d never find my way back. I’d go to pieces, and the pieces would be blown away.

The writing brings us closer to those who go through mental health issues and also what it does to people around them; The people who fall in love too hard with people who yet haven’t learned to love themselves.

It was deep beyond measuring and crammed full of darkness, as if all the world’s darkness had been boiled down to their ultimate density.

Naoko (Norwegian Wood)

I wonder if we all come across this dark place at least once in our lives, where we get surrounded by a thick, never-ending layer of grief. Death, disappointment, abandonment, the inevitable, is what Murakami focuses on in this book.

The beauty of this book is that it doesn’t paint over the imperfections, but shows us what truly lies in the dark.

It is recommended to all those who enjoy a slow, tragic story which brings one closer to reality rather than providing them with an escape.

3 thoughts on “Nowegian Wood by Haruki Murakami”

  1. Hey, thanks for the likes and the follow. Gosh, I’m so jealous of your blog; it’s beautiful! And your logo is so elegant.
    I’ve never read Harukami. I’m not sure what I’d make of the magical realism, but this one could be a great first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. That’s really sweet of you.
      I really love your blog, though. It’s versatile. I yet haven’t given a read to your poems but I would love to do that soon.

      And yes, you definitely should give Murakami a read. You won’t regret it. And if you are not much into magical realism which has fantasy elements in it, then you can pick up Norwegian Wood instead.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for checking my blog out! If you do look at any of the poems, let me know what you think. Just a hobby of mine.

        Yes, I’m adding NW to my list of books to read… which is getting longer and longer. Well, there are worse problems to have in life, eh?


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