The work Norwegian wood represents a distinct intellectual or artistic creation found in Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library Service (CCRLS). This resource is a combination of several types including: Work, Language Material, Books.This resource has been enriched with EBSCO NoveList data.
The work Norwegian wood represents a distinct intellectual or artistic creation found in Chemeketa Cooperative Regional Library Service (CCRLS). This resource is a combination of several types including: Work, Language Material, Books.
This resource has been enriched with EBSCO NoveList data.
- Norwegian wood
- Statement of responsibility
- Haruki Murakami ; translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin
- trueUnrequited love
- Novels (texts)
- Romance fiction
- trueTokyo, Japan
- Translations (form)
- Romance fiction
- College students
- College students -- Fiction
- trueCollege students -- Tokyo, Japan
- trueInstitutionalized persons -- Japan
- trueInterpersonal relations
- Love stories
- trueLove stories
- Love stories
- "Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman."--Back cover
- This is the novel that made Murakami a celebrity in Japan. Published in 1987, it sold in the millions and sent the author scurrying to the anonymity of life in Europe and the U.S. Only now has Murakami finally authorized the book to be translated and sold outside Japan. Curiously, it bears little in common with the author's later fiction--The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and A Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, both wildly ambitious, innovative novels played out on the broadest of canvases. Here he tells a seemingly conventional, first-person love story, set in Tokyo in the late 1960s. Toru Watanabe, a university freshman, is obsessed with Naoko, the lover of Watanabe's best friend, who committed suicide. The two come together in their grief, but Naoko disappears, surfacing in a strange sanitarium where she is being treated for mental illness. Watanabe wanders through his student life in Tokyo, falling in with another strange girl, the free-spirited Midori, but he remains utterly committed to Naoko, whom he visits in the sanitarium. When tragedy finally arrives, as we know it must, Watanabe lets it wash over him as if he is a pebble buffetted in the surf. In many ways, Norwegian Wood (after the Beatles' song, Naoko's favorite) is typical of numerous coming-of-age stories in which wounded outsiders share an island of tenderness. And, yet, it is different, too. This is a quiet novel about very unquiet emotions; it lacks the histrionics one expects from young people in pain, but somehow that stillness makes the pain all the more intense. But there is great humor here, too, especially in the character of Midori. Murakami is never a conventional writer, even when he tells a conventional story. Expect this haunting tale to reach a considerably larger audience than Murakami's more demanding, longer works. ((Reviewed June 1 & 15, 2000)) -- Bill Ott
- In a complete stylistic departure from his mysterious and surreal novels (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle; A Wild Sheep Chase) that show the influences of Salinger, Fitzgerald and Tom Robbins, Murakami tells a bittersweet coming-of-age story, reminiscent of J.R. Salamanca's classic 1964 novel, Lilith--the tale of a young man's involvement with a schizophrenic girl. A successful, 37-year-old businessman, Toru Watanabe, hears a version of the Beatles' Norwegian Wood, and the music transports him back 18 years to his college days. His best friend, Kizuki, inexplicably commits suicide, after which Toru becomes first enamored, then involved with Kizuki's girlfriend, Naoko. But Naoko is a very troubled young woman; her brilliant older sister has also committed suicide, and though sweet and desperate for happiness, she often becomes untethered. She eventually enters a convalescent home for disturbed people, and when Toru visits her, he meets her roommate, an older musician named Reiko, who's had a long history of mental instability. The three become fast friends. Toru makes a commitment to Naoko, but back at college he encounters Midori, a vibrant, outgoing young woman. As he falls in love with her, Toru realizes he cannot continue his relationship with Naoko, whose sanity is fast deteriorating. Though the solution to his problem comes too easily, Murakami tells a subtle, charming, profound and very sexy story of young love bound for tragedy. Published in Japan in 1987, this novel proved a wild success there, selling four million copies. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
- A huge success when it was published in Japan in 1987 and only now translated into English, this book would seem to bear little resemblance to Murakami's surreal later novels (e.g., The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle) and has been dismissed as just another love story. But it is more. Overcome by the Beatles song "Norwegian Wood," which affects him the way the madeleine affected Proust, narrator Toru spills out the story of his younger self; best friend Kizuki, a suicide at 17; and Kizuki's beloved, Naoko. After Kizuki's death, Toru falls in love with the beautiful, fragile Naoko, who quickly recedes into mental illness. Toru tracks her to a rest home, where he is befriended by her decades-older roommate, Reiko. But as Naoko deteriorates, he falls in love with a woman at his school who is also troubled but is frisky and open. Toru is honorable and intelligent. He questions his obligations: to the dead, to the living, and to himself. And Reiko? Is she a somewhat sinister figure, coming to almost instant intimacy with Toru? Or is she--as she is presented--a sympathetic, almost tragic, figure who wishes all the young people well? Deeply moving, darkly comic, beautifully written, and smoothly translated, this is for all literary fiction collections.--Judith Kicinski, Sarah Lawrence Coll. Lib., Bronxville, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
- /* Starred Review */ A first US appearance of a novel originally published in 1987, this crisp portrayal of "flaming youth" in the late 1960s proves one of Murakami's most appealing—if uncharacteristic—books.Best known to us as the comic surrealist-symbolist author of such rousing postmodernist fare as A Wild Sheep Chase (1989), Murakami is also a highly intelligent romantic who feels the pangs of his protagonist Toru Watanabe's insistent sexual and intellectual hungers and renders them with unsparing clarity (the matter-of-fact sexual frankness here seems unusual for a Japanese novel, even a 1987 one).Toru's narrative of his student years, lived out against a backdrop of ongoing "campus riots," focuses on the lessons he learns from relationships with several highly individual characters, two of them women he simultaneously loves (or thinks he loves). Mercurial Naoko, who clearly perceives the seeds of her own encroaching madness ("It's like I'm split in two and playing tag with myself"), continues to tug away at Toru's emotions even after she enters a sanatorium. Meanwhile, coy fellow student Midori tries to dispel shadows cast by her parents' painful deaths by fantasizing and simulating—though never actually experiencing—sex with him. Other perspectives on Toru's hard-won assumption of maturity are offered by older student Nagasawa ("a secret reader of classic novels," and a compulsive seducer); Naoko's roommate Reiko, a music teacher (and self-styled interpreter of such Beatles' songs as the one that provides Murakami's evocative title) who's perhaps also her lesbian lover; and the specter of Toru's boyhood friend Kizuki, a teenaged suicide. There's a lot of talk about books (particularly Fitzgerald's and Hesse's) and other cultural topics, in a blithely discursive and meditative story that's nevertheless firmly anchored to the here and now by the vibrant immediacy of its closely observed characters and their quite credibly conflicted psyches and libidos.A contemporary equivalent of This Side of Paradise or Vile Bodies, and another solid building-block in one of contemporary fiction's most energetic and impressive bodies of work. (Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2000)
- Cataloging source
- Dewey number
- no index present
- LC call number
- LC item number
- N6713 2000
- Literary form
- NLM call number
- Murakami, H.
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