Sunday, June 08, 2008

Norwegian Wood

by Haruki Murakami
Author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

"[Murakami belongs] in the topmost rank of writers of international stature." --Newsday

"Moving. . . . A rare literary occasion." --Times Literary Supplement (London)

This stunning and elegiac novel propelled Haruki Murakami into the forefront of the literary scene (and onto the Japanese bestseller lists) and showed that the master genre bender could tug at our heartstrings as effectively as the Beatles' song "Norwegian Wood." Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual obsession 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.

A magnificent blending of the music, the mood, and the ethos that was the sixties with the story of one college student's romantic coming of age, Norwegian Wood brilliantly recaptures a young man's first, hopeless, and heroic love.

"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

"A world class writer who has both eyes open and takes big risks. . . . If Murakami is the voice of a generation then it is the generation of Thomas Pynchon and Don DeLillo." --The Washington Post Book World

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