In my effort to complete my Goodread’s 2019 reading competition I decided to purchase a few more of Murakami’s books because I have absolutely fallen in love with his writing. I haven’t read enough of his work to have a holistic view, but I know enough to express how much it resonates with me and I’d even go as far to say that I have found my current favourite author.
I have read Men Without Women, Norwegian Wood, I am currently getting through Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage and 1Q84 is next on the list. I haven’t read his more fantastical and magical novels, mainly because at the moment I seem to be attracted to novels that are realistic and something I can relate to on an emotional level. Norwegian Wood definitely did this for me, its tragedy and pure, honest relationships really moved me, so much so that I feel myself craving more of his books just for the atmosphere and feeling it instils in me.
Men Without Women being the introductory book for me was really interesting because it is a compilation of short stories about, you guessed it, men without women. Each story differs and shows his varied writing and plot style, looking at tragedy and romance through lenses of loss, curiosity, sorrow and comedy, it was a perfect bridging novel to get to know Murakami’s work. Of course I favoured some stories over others, so these are the few that I particularly loved: Yesterday, An Independent Organ and Kino. Out of the three, to me An Independent Organ is the most shocking because the sheer depth and devastation Murakami explores in it. I’m not going to give any of the story away because I urge you to read it with a fresh perspective!
To attempt an explanation of how Norwegian Wood made such an impression on me, I have to tell you my mindset when experiencing any kind of art. Whether it be a movie, music, a painting or books, I always put myself into the position of the characters and theme that the piece is portraying. This way, I feel as if I get a fuller understanding of the story, poetry and meaning behind the words (if we are talking about books). So, if you’ve read Norwegian Wood you’ll likely know that this method of absorbing art is dangerous because its a pretty sad and depressing book, but with all of the characters implemented into the story as support it keeps that balance so you don’t dive into great big depressing void-like depths. Aaaand, without being cringey, if you’ve got some emotional stuff to sort out, seeing other people live it in more intense or detailed ways of it can be very cathartic.
I cannot wait to read his other books, I hope that they all give me the same sort of feeling and love for the characters and world that Murakami portrays, I can see him being my favourite author for a long time.
As always, thank you so much for reading 🙂 and I hope you find your favourite author and give Murakami’s books a read too! x