top of page

Norwegian Wood

Haruki Murakami

I have to be honest that Norwegian Wood distressed me; well, I generally prefer stories with a happy positive plot. Norwegian Wood seems like a conventional plot of young love at the puberty-adulthood transition with a lot of emotion, physical change, and sex. The Japanese society reflected through the young Toru, Hana, Reiko appears to be so depressing that I sometimes question what life means to these young adults. For me, their lives go with the wind without responsibility on their own lives.


Abrupt life impacts such as the death of her love to Naoko, the miserable girlhood of Hana or the disturbing seduction to young Reiko left painful influences on the mental and spiritual state of these victims. Then all of a sudden, one after another were involved in physical pressure without truly spiritual satisfaction, fleeting moments of sexual desires without the control of their own awareness. I feel pity for them.


However, it is undeniable to praise the writing talent of Murakami as well as the translating talent of whoever the book translator. I did not feel I was reading a translated version at first thanks to the vivid description of each character and the beautiful selection of words. I think Murakami is excellent at conveying the innermost feeling of his characters. Unfortunately, in this case, his talent upsets me quite a bit and I would not recommend Norwegian Wood to those currently moving to their adulthood. Probably you don’t want to be upset like me.

Summer 2019

April 30, 2019 at 3:00:00 PM


novel, japan


Norwegian Wood
bottom of page