Book 2: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage — Haruki Murakami

Week 2’s book took a little longer than expected so I only managed to finish it on Friday.

I’m a big Murakami fan. His interpretation of solitude, relationships and the surreal capture something which few authors do. I love the way his narrative throws you head first into his own reality. However whilst works like 1Q84 and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle embrace the bizarre and throw you far, Colorless reminded me more of Norwegian Wood for its cautious surrealism and shook me little.

Whilst the book definitely gripped me and like other Murakami novels transported my day to day thoughts towards his grey sublime world, the overall effect as Tsukuru explores his own coming of age sixteen years later felt overwhelmingly banal.

The surreal sequences which so often transport you remained steadfastly within the character’s psyche, locked to a fictional dream epistemology far from their own everyday, thus making the remaining narrative feel bland, if not overwhelmingly normal.

Despite this criticism, this was definitely a good book, with an engrossing mystery to be uncovered throughout. Sadly the magic Murakami usually sprinkles felt too little, too clichéd to be truly challenging as per his better works.

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