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  • Location: Japan, Tokyo

Norwegian Wood

Norwegian Wood

Why a Booktrail?

Destination: Tokyo, Japan  Departure Time: 1960s/1970s

Haruki Murakami borrows his novel title “Norwegian Wood” from the Beatles song of the same name.

  • ISBN: 978-0099448822
  • Translator: Jay Rubin
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

When he hears her favourite Beatles song, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend Kizuki. Immediately he is transported back almost twenty years to his student days in Tokyo, adrift in a world of uneasy friendships, casual sex, passion, loss and desire – to a time when an impetuous young woman called Midori marches into his life and he has to choose between the future and the past.

Travel Guide

The setting and timing of the novel are pertinent to the story since 1960s Japan was a time when students were protesting against the government and the changes within society.

Murakami has made a quite simple tale magical through the quality of his story telling. This is more than a simple love story, for it’s about the human condition and human suffering.

There is a lot of inward thinking in this book and thoughts of feeling lonely, abandoned, loved and lost. Why do people do what they do? Coming of age has never been so examined before.

Tokyo and Tokyo university

The university is the playground for these teenagers. He and Naoko walk the streets and just talk –

“We said nothing at all about the past. And mainly we walked – and walked and walked. Fortunately, Tokyo is such a big city we could never have covered it all.

The size of the city seemingly as wide and vast as a teeangers in ability to talk..

If you remember the confusion you felt as a teenager, then this is the real setting of the book regardless of place. Life at university, sex, student protests, music and drink in1960s Tokyo. Choices all made to various degrees until he meets two girls

Midori and Naoko. Which choice will he make now?

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