NOVEL REVIEW: NORWEGIAN WOOD BY HARUKI MURAKAMI



Eiyo Fadneiras,

Welcome back to Fadima Mooneira. Today, I would like to share a review of Haruki Murakami’s novel, Norwegian Wood. Now let’s get started. We shall begin with the author’s bio...



ABOUT HARUKI MURAKAMI


The brilliant author ~ Haruki Murakami (Image: electricliterature.com)


Haruki Murakami is a Japanese author. He is a very well-known author in the bookish industry. Murakami was born in Kyoto, Japan on the 12th of January 1949. Murakami grew up in Kobe and then he moved to Tokyo, where he attended Waseda University. 


Before Murakami became an author, he ran a small jazz bar business with his wife for seven years. Murakami’s first novel was titled Hear the Wind Sing (HTWS). The novel won the Gunzou Literature Prize for budding writers in 1979. After his success with HTWS, Murakami wrote two sequel novels -Pinball, 1973, and A Wild Sheep Chase, which all together form “The Trilogy of the Rat”(TTOTR).


Besides HTWS and TTOTR, some of Murakami’s novels are Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Norwegian Wood, Dance Dance Dance, South of the Border, West of the Sun, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Sputnik Sweetheart, Kafka on the Shore, After Dark, 1Q84, and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage. Most of Murakami’s novels are listed as bestsellers.


Besides novels, Murakami has also written three short story collections~ The Elephant Vanishes, After the Quake, and Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman. Murakami has also written an illustrated novella, The Strange Library.



ABOUT NORWEGIAN WOOD 





Norwegian Wood (NW) is one of Murakami’s most popular novels. The novel was first published in 1987 in the Japanese Language. Two years later, NW was translated into the English language by Alfred Birnbaum.  The novel became a worldwide bestseller and it is now listed as an evergreen read.


NW has been translated into 36 different languages, and it has sold over 9.2 million copies in Japan alone. Most book critiques describe NW as the Asian version of The Catcher In The Rye (a classic American literature novel by J.D Salinger).


NW is a novel about coming of age, romance, life, friendship, relationship, and mental health. The story is set in Tokyo, Japan in the 1960’s era and it follows a male protagonist named Toru Watanabe. Toru is also the narrator of the story. He is a Tokyo college student of average ability and a drama major. Unlike most Japanese youth, Toru is more interested in Western culture and American literature. 


Toru had a best friend named Kizuki. Kizuki took his own life at the age of 17. Kizuki left his girlfriend, Naoko heartbroken. Toru has a crush on Naoko. Toru and Naoko become close friends after Kizuki’s death.


Naoko is a beautiful but emotionally fragile girl who had experienced so many traumas in her life. Long before Kizuki died, Naoko's older sister committed suicide. The death of her older sister and Kizuki has a lasting effect on Naoko's emotional stability.


On Naoko's 20th birthday, she had sex with Toru. And it was her first time. Naoko was shocked and felt guilty that she lost her virginity to Toru instead of Kizuki. So she left Tokyo and moved to a sanatorium in Kobe. However, they still contact each other by letter. And Toru visits her often at the sanatorium.


After Naoko left Tokyo, Toru meets a beautiful girl named Midori. Midori is everything that Naoko is not. She is confident, outgoing, lively, and adventurous. Later, Toru finds himself attracted to Midori. But at the same time, he is still in love with Naoko. Midori likes Toru too. So Toru has to make a choice between Naoko and Midori.



MY REVIEW OF NORWEGIAN WOOD


My illustration & fan art for Norwegian Wood. It's the moment when Toru confesses his love for Midori. It's the sweetest scene in the novel ^_^


I think NW is the most beautiful novel I've read. But it’s also the saddest novel I’ve read this year. The way the storyline and plot evolves is very sad. The story goes sadder and sadder as it reaches the end.


I also see this novel as an eye-opener to life, relationship, friendship, and mental health. Murakami highlighted the mental health problem among Japanese people. Reading NW makes me understand why suicide is forbidden in Islam (my religion). It is because suicide affects those who love us. Like in NW, Naoko was once depressed after her older sister committed suicide. Then she became more depressed when Kizuki committed suicide. These tragedies and traumas also make Naoko committed suicide towards the end of the story. Naoko’s death makes Toru heartbroken too. But luckily Toru bounces back from the tragedy.


My illustration & fan art of Naoko. She's the tragic character in Norwegian Wood.


My illustration & fan art for Norwegian Wood ~ it's Toru and Naoko's romantic love scene. This scene is romantic but also sad.




Besides that, I also like Murakami’s writing style for this novel. His writing style is very catchy (especially characters dialogue). Murakami's catchy writing style makes it easy for me to visualize the story. It also brings me closer to Toru and other characters.


Overall, I rate this novel 10/10. So far, I believe NW is the best novel I’ve read this year. Since NW is listed as an evergreen read, I would like to recommend my fellow bookworms to read this novel. NW is a novel all bookworms must not miss. NW is the first Murakami novel that I read. Reading NW makes me want to read more of Murakami’s books.



Ok, so this is my review of Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood. Before I end this post, I would like to ask my readers four simple questions…

 

  1. Have you guys read Norwegian Wood?
  2. If yes, what are your opinions of this novel?
  3. Are you a fan of Haruki Murakami?
  4. If yes, which Murakami’s work is your favorite?


Ok, that’s all for now. Thank you for reading this review. See you guys again soon.


XoXo,


Fadima Mooneira ^_^



#NorwegianWood #HarukiMurakami #JapaenseAuthor #AsianAuthor #NovelReview #BookReview #FadimaMooneiraLibrary #Edutainment #FadimaMooneiraDotCom




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Comments

  1. I read a few Japanese novels this year. I bet this is a good book.

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    1. Yes, it is. I believe it's the most beautiful novel i’ve ever read.

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  2. I love your illustrations! I haven't heard of this or author before (he's very good looking!) But it's incredible that his book has been published in so many languages and sold so many copies! Great review.

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    1. Yes!!!!!!! Murakami is a very famous author in the bookish industry.

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  3. I love your creative inspired artwork. I hadn't heard of this author before but it sounds like a great book.

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    1. Yes, it is. And thank you for your compliment on my illustrations.

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  4. I love that you include information about the author too as not everyone does it! Great review xx

    xoxo Olivia | http://www.oliviaandbeauty.com

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    1. Thanx. I just believe that it is important for my readers to know about the author.

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  5. This sounds like a great novel. Thanks for sharing your review!

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  6. OH wow, I haven't read this novel but it seems very emotional. I feel like I'd cry reading this! Love that you write about the author too. Thanks for sharing, Fadima x

    Lynn | https://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

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  7. love love your art. it's not easy actually to sketch character based on story. but you did well

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    Replies
    1. Thanx. You have to have a good imagination to draw the characters and scenes from any book you read. And you have to enjoy the book too to visualize the story well.

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  8. Cantik betul your art. So creative. Tak pernah lagi baca buku ni. Tapi based on what you write rasa macam tertarik untuk baca novel ni jugak. I should find this novel too soon.

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    1. πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

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  9. Ruth| Ruthiee loves GlamourAugust 23, 2021 at 2:58 AM

    Wow! I have never heard of this book before but it sounds like something I would love. I haven't heard of this author either but it's so nice to know that he has published books in so many languages and have sold so many copies as well. That's such an achievement. Thank you for sharing. x

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    1. Yesssss!!!!!!! Murakami is a well-known author in the bookish industry. I wish to be like him. Hehehe 😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

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  10. Akak belum lagi baca penulisan Haruki Murakami. Bila Munira review ni. Baru tahu ada novel ever green camni. Nanti nak cari di Kinokuniya. Tq share!

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    1. Yep, most Murakami’s books are evergreen read.

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  11. I have seen this book in the shops and while i was kind of attracted by the cover, I admittedly never picked it up. Nor did I ever read anything from Murakami. I think this is about to change, your review made me want to get this book ASAP! Thank you for sharing Fadima x

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    1. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ

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  12. I haven’t actually heard of this author before but he sounds great. Thank you so much for sharing Xo

    Elle - ellegracedeveson.com

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  13. Thanks for recommending the novel. I might take you on the invite to read the novel too. Hopefully, I will not become depressed after reading it. Hehe

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    1. No lah......x man depress punya. But you will learn more about life after reading this book. Tetapi scr jujur nyer memang novel NIe storyline and plot nyer Sgt sedih.

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  14. Kreatif la ilustration yang you buat. Suka sangat tengok. Sinopsis novel ni pun best. Nanti nak cuba cari.

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    1. πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

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  15. Sis belum pernah baca dan pertama kali baru tau novel ni Fadima.. mybe Sis ni bukan pembaca Novel.. tapi suka tentang genre penulisan novel ni.. boleh membantu dalam moticasi kehidupan kalau Sis faham apa yang Fadima tulis..

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    1. Lah......so you x paham ke apa yg I tulis nie. Use Bing translator.

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  16. I am always curious about Haruki Murakami's Works so I think I must try this soon. Thanks for the review!

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    1. You’re welcome. Yeah, Norwegian Wood will be a good kickstart for you.

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  17. I've not come across this author before but Norwegian Wood sounds beautifully written. And your illustrations are gorgeous, Fadima. I hadn't realised suicide was forbidden in Islam but I do agree, the effect on those left behind can be very traumatic and this nbeds to be discussed more.

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    1. Yes, suicide is a sin in Islam. There’s always a way to solve problems instead of suicide. In fact, suicide won’t solve problems at all. It just makes things worse.

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  18. Sounds like an incredible name! I've seen Murakami’s work all over Instagram recently so definitely sounds like an author I should check out. Great review!

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    1. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ

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  19. Love, love your artwork which goes along with this review. I'm becoming a bit of a fan with your drawings, they are so strong. Great review by the way.

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    1. Auwww......thank you for your complement on my artwork. I shall make it a motivation to improve better. Thanx πŸ’œπŸ’›πŸ’–πŸ’•πŸŒΈπŸŒΉ

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  20. I absolutely adore your heartwarming artwork! The book sounds like a great read and I've never read any books by a Japanese author so I'm definitely adding this to my reading list for the year.

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    1. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘ŒπŸ‘ŒπŸ‘Œ

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  21. Great review! I have heard of Murakami, but I haven't tried any of his books. Your review has me really curious though, so I will have to check this one out.

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  22. This sounds like a fantastic book and your illustrations are super cool!
    xoxo
    Lovely
    www.mynameislovely.com

    ReplyDelete

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