Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki lowest and His new arrival Years of Pilgrimage online

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki lowest and His new arrival Years of Pilgrimage online

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki lowest and His new arrival Years of Pilgrimage online
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Product Description

An instant #1 New York Times Bestseller

One of the most revered voices in literature today gives us a story of love, friend­ship, and heartbreak for the ages.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the remarkable story of a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present.

New York Times and Washington Post notable book, and one of the Financial Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Slate, Mother Jones, The Daily Beast, and BookPage''s best books of the year

Review

“Mesmerizing, immersive, hallucinogenic.” — Entertainment Weekly

“Readers wait for [Murakami’s] work the way past generations lined up at record stores for new albums by the Beatles or Bob Dylan. . . . Reveals another side of Murakami, one not so easy to pin down. . . A book for both the new and experienced reader.” —Patti Smith, The New York Times Book Review 

“Hypnotic.” — The Boston Globe
 
“Brilliant.” — The Miami Herald
 
“A masterpiece.” — Elle
 
“Wistful, mysterious, winsome, disturbing, seductive.” — The Atlantic
 
Remarkable.” — The Washington Post
 
 “Intoxicating. . . . Full of beauty, strangeness, and color.” —NPR

“[Murakami] is ever alert to minds and hearts, to what it is, precisely, that they feel and see, and to humanity’s abiding and indomitable spirit. . . . A deeply affecting novel, not only for the dark nooks and crannies it explores, but for the magic that seeps into its characters’ subconsciouses, for the lengths to which they will go to protect or damage one another, for the brilliant characterizations it delivers along the way.” — The Washington Post
 
“More than just a story but rather a meditation. . . . There is a rawness, a vulnerability, to these characters.” — Los Angeles Times
 
“Tsukuru’s pilgrimage will never end, because he is moving constantly away from his destination, which is his old self. This is a narrow poignancy, but a powerful one, and Murakami is its master. Perhaps that''s why he has come to speak not just for his thwarted nation, but for so many of us who love art—since it''s only there, alas, in novels such as this one, that we''re allowed to live twice.” — Chicago Tribune
 
“Bold and colorful threads of fiction blur smoothly together to form the muted white of an almost ordinary realism. Like J.M. Coetzee, Murakami smoothly interlaces allegorical meanings with everyday particulars of contemporary social reality. . . . Tsukuru’s situation will resonate with anyone who feels adrift in this age of Google and Facebook.” — San Francisco Chronicle
 
Colorless Tsukuru spins a weave of . . . vivid images around a great mystery. . . . The story flows along smoothly, wrapping around details like objects in a stream.” — The Boston Globe
 
 “The premise is simple enough, but in the works of Murakami, nothing is simple. . . . A perfect introduction to Murakami’s world, where questions of guilt and motivation abound, and the future is an open question.” — The Miami Herald
 
“Beautiful, rich with moving images and lush yet exquisitely controlled language. . . . Fans of elegant, intelligent fiction will welcome this book.” — Tampa Bay Times
 
“Moving. . . . One of Murakami’s most endearing and enduring traits as a writer is an almost reportorial attention to detail, the combined effect of which gives you a complete picture while still feeling a little ethereal.” — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
“Shockingly seductive. . . . Murakami has a knack for swift, seamless storytelling. . . . Don’t be surprised if you devour Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage in the course of a night or two. . . . Charming and unexpected.” — Richmond Times-Dispatch
 
“Satisfying. . . . Murakami can find mystery in the mundane and conjure it in sparse, Raymond Carveresque prose.” — Financial Times
 
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki alights in some mysterious places but doesn’t settle there. . . . [It] is replete with emotionally frank, philosophical discussions. . . . Reflective.” — The Dallas Morning News
 
“A piercing and surprisingly compact story about friendship and loneliness. . . . Murakami skillfully explores the depths of Tsukuru’s isolation and pain.” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch
 
“Truly captivating . . . Calling Murakami a ‘universally respected author’ or even a ‘paragon of literature’ is no longer apt. The man is a cultural force unto himself. . . . [In Colorless Tsukuru] the staples of his work . . . all come together to form a beautiful whole.” — A.V. Club
 
“Spare and contained. . . . Quiet, with disturbing depths.” — The Columbus Dispatch
 
“A testament to the mystery, magic, and mastery of this much-revered Japanese writer’s imaginative powers. Murakami’s moxie is characterized by a brilliant detective-story-like blend of intuition, hard-nosed logic, impeccable pacing, and poetic revelations.” — Elle

About the Author

Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. His work has been translated into more than fifty languages. The most recent of his many international honors is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J. M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V. S. Naipaul. Translated by Philip Gabriel.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

From July of his sophomore year in college until the following January, all Tsukuru Tazaki could think about was dying. He turned twenty during this time, but this special watershed—becoming an adult—meant nothing. Taking his own life seemed the most natural solution, and even now he couldn’t say why he hadn’t taken this final step. Crossing that threshold between life and death would have been easier than swallowing down a slick, raw egg.

Perhaps he didn’t commit suicide then because he couldn’t conceive of a method that fit the pure and intense feelings he had toward death. But method was beside the point. If there had been a door within reach that led straight to death, he wouldn’t have hesitated to push it open, without a second thought, as if it were just a part of ordinary life. For better or for worse, though, there was no such door nearby.

 
I really should have died then, Tsukuru often told himself. Then this world, the one in the here and now, wouldn’t exist. It was a captivating, bewitching thought. The present world wouldn’t exist, and reality would no longer be real. As far as this world was concerned, he would simply no longer exist—just as this world would no longer exist for him.

At the same time, Tsukuru couldn’t fathom why he had reached this point, where he was teetering over the precipice. There was an actual event that had led him to this place—this he knew all too well—but why should death have such a hold over him, enveloping him in its embrace for nearly half a year? Envelop—the word expressed it precisely. Like Jonah in the belly of the whale, Tsukuru had fallen into the bowels of death, one untold day after another, lost in a dark, stagnant void.

It was as if he were sleepwalking through life, as if he had already died but not yet noticed it. When the sun rose, so would Tsukuru—he’d brush his teeth, throw on whatever clothes were at hand, ride the train to college, and take notes in class. Like a person in a storm desperately grasping at a lamppost, he clung to this daily routine. He only spoke to people when necessary, and after school, he would return to his solitary apartment, sit on the floor, lean back against the wall, and ponder death and the failures of his life. Before him lay a huge, dark abyss that ran straight through to the earth’s core. All he could see was a thick cloud of nothingness swirling around him; all he could hear was a profound silence squeezing his eardrums.

When he wasn’t thinking about death, his mind was blank. It wasn’t hard to keep from thinking. He didn’t read any newspapers, didn’t listen to music, and had no sexual desire to speak of. Events occurring in the outside world were, to him, inconsequential. When he grew tired of his room, he wandered aimlessly around the neighborhood or went to the station, where he sat on a bench and watched the trains arriving and departing, over and over again.

He took a shower every morning, shampooed his hair well, and did the laundry twice a week. Cleanliness was another one of his pillars: laundry, bathing, and teeth brushing. He barely noticed what he ate. He had lunch at the college cafeteria, but other than that, he hardly consumed a decent meal. When he felt hungry he stopped by the local supermarket and bought an apple or some vegetables. Sometimes he ate plain bread, washing it down with milk straight from the carton.  When it was time to sleep, he’d gulp down a glass of whiskey as if it were a dose of medicine. Luckily he wasn’t much of a drinker, and a small dose of alcohol was all it took to send him off to sleep. He never dreamed. But even if he had dreamed, even if dreamlike images arose from the edges of his mind, they would have found nowhere to perch on the slippery slopes of his consciousness, instead quickly sliding off, down into the void.
 
 
 
The reason why death had such a hold on Tsukuru Tazaki was clear. One day his four closest friends, the friends he’d known for a long time, announced that they did not want to see him, or talk with him, ever again. It was a sudden, decisive declaration, with no room for compromise. They gave no explanation, not a word, for this harsh pronouncement. And Tsukuru didn’t dare ask.

He’d been friends with the four of them since high school, though when they cut him off, Tsukuru had already left his hometown and was attending college in Tokyo. So being banished didn’t have any immediate negative effects on his daily routine—it wasn’t like there would be awkward moments when he’d run into them on the street. But that was just quibbling. The pain he felt was, if anything, more intense, and weighed down on him even more greatly because of the physical distance. Alienation and loneliness became a cable that stretched hundreds of miles long, pulled to the breaking point by a gigantic winch. And through that taut line, day and night, he received indecipherable messages. Like a gale blowing between trees, those messages varied in strength as they reached him in fragments, stinging his ears.
 
 
 
The five of them had been classmates at a public high school in the suburbs of Nagoya. Three boys, and two girls. During summer vacation of their freshman year, they all did some volunteer work together and became friends. Even after freshman year, when they were in different classes, they remained a close-knit group. The volunteer work that had brought them together had been part of a social studies summer assignment, but even after it ended, they chose to volunteer as a group.

Besides the volunteer work, they went hiking together on holidays, played tennis, swam at the Chita Peninsula, or got together at one of their houses to study for tests. Or else—and this was what they did most often—they just hung out someplace, and talked for hours.  It wasn’t like they showed up with a topic in mind—they just never ran out of things to talk about.

Pure chance had brought them together. There were several volunteer opportunities they could have chosen from, but the one they all chose, independently, was an after-school tutoring program for elementary school kids (most of whom were children who refused to go to school). The program was run by a Catholic church, and of the thirty-five students in their high school class, the five of them were the only ones who selected it. To start, they participated in a three-day summer camp outside Nagoya, and got to be good friends with the children.

Whenever they took a break, the five of them gathered to talk. They got to know each other better, sharing their ideas and opening up about their dreams, as well as their problems. And when the summer camp was over, each one of them felt they were in the right place, where they needed to be, with the perfect companions. A unique sense of harmony developed between them—each one needed the other four and, in turn, shared the sense that they too were needed. The whole convergence was like a lucky but entirely accidental chemical fusion, something that could only happen once. You might gather the same materials and make identical preparations, but you would never be able to duplicate the result.

After the initial volunteer period, they spent about two weekends a month at the after-school program, teaching the kids, reading to them, playing with them. They mowed the lawn, painted the building, and repaired playground equipment. They continued this work for the next two years, until they graduated from high school.

The only source of tension among them was the uneven number—the fact that their group was comprised of three boys and two girls. If two of the boys and two of the girls became couples, the remaining boy would be left out. That possibility must have always been hanging over their heads like a small, thick, lenticular cloud. But it never happened, nor did it even seem a likely possibility.
 
 
 
Perhaps coincidentally, all five of them were from suburban, upper-middle-class families. Their parents were baby boomers; their fathers were all professionals. Their parents spared no expense when it came to their children’s education. On the surface, at least, their families were peaceful, and stable. None of their parents got divorced, and most of them had stay-at-home mothers. Their high school emphasized academics, and their grades were uniformly good. Overall there were far more similarities than differences in their everyday environments.

And aside from Tsukuru Tazaki, they had another small, coincidental point in common: their last names all contained a color. The two boys’ last names were Akamatsu—which means  “red pine”—and Oumi—“blue sea”; the girls’ family names were Shirane—“white root”—and Kurono—“black field.” Tazaki was the only last name that did not have a color in its meaning. From the very beginning this fact made him feel a little bit left out. Of course, whether or not you had a color as part of your name had nothing to do with your personality. Tsukuru understood this. But still, it disappointed him, and he surprised himself by feeling hurt. Soon, the other four friends began to use nicknames: the boys were called Aka (red) and Ao (blue); and the girls were Shiro (white) and Kuro (black). But he just remained Tsukuru. How great it would be, he often thought, if I had a color in my name too. Then everything would be perfect.

Aka was the one with the best grades. He never seemed to study hard, yet was at the top of his class in every subject. He never bragged about his grades, however, and preferred to cautiously stay in the background, almost as if he were embarrassed to be so smart. But as often is the case with short people—he never grew past five foot three—once he made up his mind about something, no matter how trivial it might be, he never backed down. And he was bothered by illogical rules and by teachers who couldn’t meet his exacting standards. He hated to lose; whenever he lost a tennis match, it put him in a bad mood. He didn’t act out, or pout—instead, he just became unusually quiet. The other four friends found his short temper amusing and often teased him about it. Eventually Aka would always break down and laugh along with them. His father was a professor of economics at Nagoya University.

Ao was impressively built, with wide shoulders and a barrel chest, as well as a broad forehead, a generous mouth, and an imposing nose. He was a forward on the rugby team, and in his senior year he was elected team captain. He really hustled on the field and was constantly getting cuts and bruises. He wasn’t good at buckling down and studying, but he was a cheerful person and enormously popular among his classmates. He always looked people straight in the eye, spoke in a clear, strong voice, and had an amazing appetite, seeming to enjoy everything set down in front of him. He also had a quick recall of people’s names and faces, and seldom said anything bad about anyone else. He was a good listener and a born leader. Tsukuru could never forget the way he’d gather his team around him before a match to give them a pep talk.

“Listen up!” Ao would bellow. “We’re going to win. The only question is how and by how much. Losing is not an option for us. You hear me? Losing is not an option!”

“Not an option!” the team would shout, before rushing out onto the field.

Not that their high school rugby team was all that good. Ao was clever and extremely athletic, but the team itself was mediocre. When they went up against teams from private schools, where players had been recruited from all over the country on athletic scholarships, Ao’s team usually lost. “What’s important,” he’d tell his friends, “is the will to win. In the real world we can’t always win. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”

“And sometimes you get rained out,” Kuro remarked, with typical sarcasm.

Ao shook his head sadly. “You’re confusing rugby with baseball or tennis. Rugby’s never postponed on account of rain.”

“You play even when it’s raining?” Shiro asked, surprised. Shiro knew next to nothing about  sports, and had zero interest in them.

“That’s right,” Aka said seriously. “Rugby matches are never canceled. No matter how hard it rains. That’s why every year you get a lot of players who drown during matches.”

“My God, that’s awful!” Shiro said.

“Don’t be silly. He’s joking,” Kuro said, in a slightly disgusted tone.

“If you don’t mind,” Ao went on, “my point is that if you’re an athlete you have to learn how to be a good loser.”

“You certainly get a lot of practice with that every day,” Kuro said.

Shiro was tall and slim, with a model’s body and the graceful features of a traditional Japanese doll. Her long hair was a silky, lustrous black. Most people who passed her on the street would turn around for a second look, but she seemed to find her beauty embarrassing. She was a serious person, who above all else disliked drawing attention to herself. She was also a wonderful, skilled pianist, though she would never play for someone she didn’t know. She seemed happiest while teaching piano to children in an after-school program. During these lessons, Shiro looked completely relaxed, more relaxed than Tsukuru saw her at any other  time. Several of the children, Shiro said, might not be good at regular schoolwork, but they had a natural talent for music and it would be a shame to not develop it. The school only had an old upright piano, almost an antique, so the five of them started a fund-raising drive to buy a new one. They worked part-time during summer vacation, and persuaded a company that made musical instruments to help them out. In the spring of their senior year, their hard work finally paid off, resulting in the purchase of a grand piano for the school. Their campaign caught people’s attention and was even featured in a newspaper.

Shiro was usually quiet, but she loved animals so much that when a conversation turned to dogs and cats, her face lit up and the words would cascade out from her. Her dream was to become a veterinarian, though Tsukuru couldn’t picture her with a scalpel, slicing open the belly of a Labrador retriever, or sticking her hand up the anus of a horse. If she went to vet school, that’s exactly the kind of training she’d have to do. Her father ran an ob-gyn clinic in Nagoya.

Kuro wasn’t beautiful, but she was eager and charming and always curious. She was large-boned and full-bodied, and already had a well-developed bust by the time she was sixteen. She was independent and tough, with a mind as quick as her tongue. She did well in humanities subjects, but was hopeless at math and physics. Her father ran an accounting firm in Nagoya, but there was no way she would ever be able to help out. Tsukuru often helped her with her math homework. She could be sarcastic but had a unique, refreshing sense of humor, and he found talking with her fun and stimulating. She was a great reader, too, and always had a book under her arm.

Shiro and Kuro had been in the same class in junior high and knew each other well, even before the five of them became friends. To see them together was a wonderful sight: a unique and captivating combination of a beautiful, shy artist and a clever, sarcastic comedian.

Tsukuru Tazaki was the only one in the group without anything special about him. His grades were slightly above average. He wasn’t especially interested in academics, though he did pay close attention during class and always made sure to do the minimum amount of practice  and review needed to get by. From the time he was little, that was his habit, no different from washing your hands before you eat and brushing your teeth after a meal. So although his grades were never stellar, he always passed his classes with ease. As long as he kept his grades up, his parents were never inclined to pester him to attend cram school or study with a tutor.

He didn’t mind sports but never was interested enough to join a team. He’d play the occasional game of tennis  with his family or friends,  and go skiing or swimming every once in a while. That was about it. He was pretty good-looking, and sometimes people even told him so, but what they really meant was that he had no particular defects to speak of. Sometimes, when he looked at his face in the mirror, he detected an incurable boredom. He had no deep interest in the arts, no hobby or special skill. He was, if anything, a bit taciturn; he blushed  easily, wasn’t especially outgoing, and could never relax around people he’d just met.

If pressed to identify something special about him, one might notice that his family was the most affluent of the five friends, or that an aunt on his mother’s side was an actress—not a star by any means,  but still fairly well known. But when it came to Tsukuru himself, there was not one single quality he possessed that was worth bragging about or showing off to others. At least that was how he viewed himself. Everything about him was middling, pallid, lacking in color.

The only real interest he had was train stations. He wasn’t sure why, but for as long as he could remember, he had loved to observe train stations—they had always appealed to him. Huge bullet-train stations; tiny, one-track stations out in the countryside; rudimentary freight-collection stations—it didn’t matter what kind, because as long as it was a railway station, he loved it. Everything about stations moved him deeply.

Like most little boys he enjoyed assembling model trains, but what really fascinated him weren’t the elaborate locomotives or cars, the intricately intersecting rail tracks, or the cleverly designed dioramas. No, it was the models of ordinary stations set down among the other parts, like an afterthought. He loved to watch as the trains passed by the station, or slowed down as they pulled up to the platform. He could picture the passengers coming and going, the announcements on the speaker system, the ringing of the signal as a train was about to depart, the station employees  briskly going about their duties. What was real and what was imaginary mingled in his mind, and he’d tremble sometimes with the excitement of it all. But he could never adequately explain to people why he was so attracted to the stations. Even if he could, he knew they would think he was one weird kid. And sometimes Tsukuru himself wondered if something wasn’t exactly right with him.

Though he lacked a striking personality, or any qualities that made him stand out, and despite always aiming for what was average, the middle of the road, there was (or seemed to be) something about him that wasn’t exactly normal, something that set him apart. And this contradiction continued to perplex and confuse him, from his boyhood all the way to the present, when he was thirty-six years old. Sometimes the confusion was momentary and insubstantial, at other times deep and profound.
 
 
 
Sometimes Tsukuru couldn’t understand why he was included in their group of five. Did the others  really need him? Wouldn’t they be able to relax and have a better time if he weren’t there?  Maybe they just hadn’t realized it yet, and it was only a matter of time before they did? The more he pondered this dilemma, the less he understood. Trying to sort out his value to the group was like trying to weigh something that had no unit value. The needle on the scale wouldn’t settle on a number.

But none of these concerns  seemed to bother the other four. Tsukuru could see that they genuinely loved it when all five of them got together as a group. Like an equilateral pentagon, where all sides are the same length, their group’s formation had to be composed of five people exactly—any more or any less wouldn’t do. They believed that this was true. 

And naturally Tsukuru was happy, and proud, to be included as one indispensable side of the pentagon. He loved his four friends, loved the sense of belonging he felt when he was with them. Like a young tree absorbing nutrition from the soil, Tsukuru got the sustenance he needed as an adolescent from this group, using it as necessary food to grow, storing what was left as an emergency heat source inside him. Still, he had a constant, nagging fear that someday he would fall away from this intimate community, or be forced out and left on his own. Anxiety raised its head, like a jagged, ominous rock exposed by the receding  tide, the fear that he would be separated from the group and end up entirely alone.

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4.3 out of 54.3 out of 5
2,245 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

CBx
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Self-discovery and personal growth
Reviewed in the United States on May 22, 2020
After disliking the Murakami I had read before this one, IQ84, I went into this with some hesitation. I used to very much enjoy reading books by Murakami, but the more recent ones felt increasingly repetitive and worn-out. This book focuses on the title... See more
After disliking the Murakami I had read before this one, IQ84, I went into this with some hesitation. I used to very much enjoy reading books by Murakami, but the more recent ones felt increasingly repetitive and worn-out.

This book focuses on the title character, Tsukuru Tazaki, who used to belong to a group of five friends in high school. All the other friends had colors in their names, and went by color nicknames, while he did not. As a consequence he viewed himself as "colorless" and thought of himself as an uninteresting, empty person, albeit one who liked trains. After going to university, the others in the group cut him off without explanation, and as a result, his life was forever changed. Many years later, he goes back to the members of the group to figure out what happened and to piece his life back together. And that''s the story. There is a bit more depth to it, Tsukuru''s near-death experience as a result of being ostracized (oof), another story about death, explicit sex dreams, and such, but by and large this is a straightforward story of self-discovery and personal growth.

I kept feeling reminded of Banana Yoshimoto while reading it, especially the last book of hers I read, The Lake. The way the characters were depicted and interacted seemed more like something she would write, but with her characters, there is something that makes them feel real. This wasn''t bad, and I enjoyed reading it (especially the later scenes), but it didn''t have much staying power for me.
10 people found this helpful
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Ronald K. Byers
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
When it''s guilt, it''s not quite so transcendtal
Reviewed in the United States on February 15, 2019
Murakami writes beautifully. I enjoyed reading the book, but it felt like when nothing was happening, I think I was supposed to be experiencing life in an odd transcendental fashion, but it was only a little mysterious at times and them well, the multiple universes theory... See more
Murakami writes beautifully. I enjoyed reading the book, but it felt like when nothing was happening, I think I was supposed to be experiencing life in an odd transcendental fashion, but it was only a little mysterious at times and them well, the multiple universes theory just seemed like someone who felt guilty about all that had happened. Which of us has not imagined life if we had not done or said X or Y, but this is just pretty typical.
It did, in fact, bother me that Tsukuru never thought of confronting his old friends for 16 years and only when essentially forced to do so.. I understand how hurt comes into it, but sooner or later this generates some sort of anger. No doubt after that, you might hatch a plan to find out what happened. But not Tsukuru. he doesn''t eat much, has plenty of money, loves his job as a railroad depot construction engineer, and is capable. Frankly I cannot imagine any of his personality did much for his career. He is curiously regimented, even though he hardly does anything remotely Japanese except visit his family, which, in act, makes him uncomfortable. When the guy goes out in Japan, he searches out a diner with great meat loaf instead of grabbing a delicious Ramen. Oh well! The only thing Japanese about this book is the train station with the mind boggling number of travelers.

I have always wanted to read this author, and this is my first book of his, but I felt like he was adapting a kind of formula for writing this one. Essentially there were some thoughtful moments, a terrific ethereal story by a friend who enters and leaves his life silently, and then there is a great deal of repetition concerning his thoughts on why his friends might have snubbed him. His psyche is repaired afar too quickly at the end, fairy tale like, and I didn''t really believe it anyway. I couldn''t help feel that if Sara had another BF, then it would be wise to find another one. At he end, despite the enthusiasm, Tsukuru is still badly damaged. It takes lots of time. I also think the actual story might have been much shorter without losing a thing, but Murakami drags it out forever. Three stars for the writing.
4 people found this helpful
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Doug D.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An evolution of perspective.
Reviewed in the United States on June 26, 2015
I really like reading Murakami''s books. He is a fantastic writer, who''s books are just plain enjoyable to read. This book is no exception. It begins with Tsukuru being troubled by something bad that has happened to him (very troubled, very troubled). The rest of the... See more
I really like reading Murakami''s books. He is a fantastic writer, who''s books are just plain enjoyable to read.
This book is no exception. It begins with Tsukuru being troubled by something bad that has happened to him (very troubled, very troubled). The rest of the story is his evolution away from the idea that this thing simply happened to him. After many years he finally investigates what really happened and realizes that there were other perspectives. It turned out that the main issue wasn''t all about him at all; it was really more about someone else who actually suffered more than he did. We all need to better realize that the world does not revolve around us. Things do not simply happen to us, we are part of a larger whole. This book is a great example of that.
The only thing I didn''t like about the book was it was too short. When I finished, I thought, "is it done already?" After reading 1Q84, this one seemed like only half a book. I wanted to know more.
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Irakli
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good book
Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2021
A protagonist''s journey of self-discovery and recovery...Though no fault of his own, a single event occurring in his youth has led him to a state of perpetual confusion and guilt. One event leading to another means that ''there is no going back. For many years, the weight of... See more
A protagonist''s journey of self-discovery and recovery...Though no fault of his own, a single event occurring in his youth has led him to a state of perpetual confusion and guilt. One event leading to another means that ''there is no going back. For many years, the weight of this existential pressure drained the life out of Tskuru - his desolate social relationships, sedentary living habits, negligible physical appearance, and a ''colorless'' self-image.

Not until that he met new people - Haida and Sara, circumstantial strangers who expressed genuine care of Tskuru that he is able to confront his traumatic past.

We see ourselves through the eyes of others. Each time Tskuru was braved enough to share his story with a stranger starting from Haida (Midorikawa/ Haida''s father story), Sara then Ao, Aka, Shiro (in a dream), and Kuro, Tskuru''s story is relived and his faults atoned.

Mr. Red, Mr. Blue, Ms. White, Ms. Black + Mr. Gray / Mr. Green River -> I love how Murakami plays with symbolism. "Every person has their own color"

Listz'' Le Mal Du Pays -> I can''t think of a better symbol that propels the story forward as much as this song here. Each time the track is revisited, readers remember the vivid sentimentality of Shiro''s performance as an anchor yet its settings, audience, and meanings through which it occurred change.

Natural built-up of twists. The plot is packaged nicely and the authors did use literary tools to stage the story - paradoxical dreams & thoughts, mythical elements, Haida was introduced through a convo about philosophy (Voltaire..)
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Icelandic wanderer
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Like others have said
Reviewed in the United States on January 4, 2015
As a reader who admires Murakami and was anticipating this release, I was let down. Like others have said, it is more like Norwegian Wood than his other works, yet it is not as good as that title. I felt like I as waiting to get to something that did not happen, and there... See more
As a reader who admires Murakami and was anticipating this release, I was let down. Like others have said, it is more like Norwegian Wood than his other works, yet it is not as good as that title. I felt like I as waiting to get to something that did not happen, and there were a couple of incidents in the book where I thought it just did not fit in to the plot at all. I thought to myself " What is the point to this part?" Is it worth the read and effort? I would say yes, as Murakami does interesting things in his books and he does things that no one else does, yet it would not be one that I can recommend very strongly.

If you are new to Murakami, I still say his best is The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I also enjoyed 1Q84, too. Wind -up is his opus , in my opinion, and that''s all this is, my opinion, my experience. Best of luck reading!
7 people found this helpful
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Kali Lover
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A pilgrimage into one''s own consciousness.
Reviewed in the United States on October 13, 2014
What a superb journey this was...I felt so connected and drawn into the life of Tsukuru that the line between he and I blurred much like the line between dream and wake.... Fiction, in general, bores me to tears: mundane, scare mongering, trite etc, etc. The... See more
What a superb journey this was...I felt so connected and drawn into the life of Tsukuru that the line between he and I blurred much like the line between dream and wake....

Fiction, in general, bores me to tears: mundane, scare mongering, trite etc, etc. The majesty and exquisiteness of this novel is the ability of the writer to draw you into the tale which subsequently draws YOU within yourself--- delving deep into the cavern of one''s most painful and pivotal life experience, of seeing the mountain peaks of what could have been, of the angst, confusion and self-doubt that tears into defining the who and what one is.

To say the novel is remarkable is an understatement. Writing that is this alive, this relatable and deeply complicated in revealing the layers of human consciousness and emotions comes few and far between. I feel that, like those with a palate to be taste testers, those who do more of their own internal self journey would appreciate the work on scale much more than the average.

All in all, I finished it feeling as though I had a 7 course meal. It feed all parts of my being: spiritual, emotional, psychological and mental. Highly recommended.

Thank you, Mr. Murakami, for the pilgrimage.
17 people found this helpful
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Keris Nine
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
South of the Norwegian Border After Dark
Reviewed in the United States on January 12, 2015
Love it or hate it, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is on the Norwegian Wood side of Haruki Murakami''s writing, dealing with personality issues and difficult relationships, but it still has the author''s familiar diversions into surrealism, magic realism, post-modernism or whatever... See more
Love it or hate it, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is on the Norwegian Wood side of Haruki Murakami''s writing, dealing with personality issues and difficult relationships, but it still has the author''s familiar diversions into surrealism, magic realism, post-modernism or whatever you want to call the dream-like flights of imagination and strange connections that his sensitive characters establish with the world around them.

At the heart of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is a typically sensitive young man, a misfit with emotional problems who struggles with relationships. It wasn''t always that way, Tazaki once an equal part of a close-knit group of five friends in Nagoya. Murakami''s unique outlook on the dynamic of the group is interesting, each of the two boys and two girls having a name that refers to a colour, while Tazaki is "colourless". And in some ways that reflect how Tazaki sees himself. When Tazaki leaves to go to university in Tokyo, he finds himself inexplicably banished from having any further contact with his friends. Tazaki''s life and outlook is profoundly affected by this until 16 years later when he goes back looking for answers.

The questions Murakami grapples with in Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki are the familiar psychological issues of identity, sexuality and death that are covered in Norwegian Wood, mixed with feelings of guilt, sin and questions of evil. Some of the situations and character types are similar to that book, but given a bit more of a latter-day Murakami spin, with the surreal nightmarish qualities of After Dark and the heightened sexual situations of South of the Border, West of the Sun. Instead of the Beatles, this time we also have Liszt, so all the usual Murakami tropes are in there.

Which makes you wonder whether Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage has anything new to offer from this author. It doesn''t really, but it is still a good read and is possibly something of a pilgrimage for the author himself, going back to revisit a youthful work, explore its mysteries with a more mature outlook, and even in some way seek - as Colorless Tsukuru does - to ''exorcise the evil spirit'' that still has a hold over him to some extent. Sometimes it''s best leaving the mystery alone, but there''s still a lot of unanswered questions in Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and a lot of classic Murakami here.

incidentally, for those who still care about such matters and haven''t yet moved to a Kindle, the Knopf hardcover edition of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage is a beauty to behold, with gorgeous graphic design and a compact size that is a joy to hold in your hands. Such matters are not incidental to the pleasure of reading Murakami.
7 people found this helpful
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Lydia Fazio Theys
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An Ethereal Meditation
Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2019
I couldn''t put this book down, which says a lot right there. It was moody and introspective in that Murakami way and the central mystery was tantalizing. What happened to Tsukuru Tazaki at age 20 that still plagued him 16 years later? Why hadn''t he asked right away? And... See more
I couldn''t put this book down, which says a lot right there. It was moody and introspective in that Murakami way and the central mystery was tantalizing. What happened to Tsukuru Tazaki at age 20 that still plagued him 16 years later? Why hadn''t he asked right away? And what did the people we meet in the intervening years have to do with the answer? This book was about big questions and so a tidy clean-up-all-the-threads ending wasn''t likely or even desirable. This maybe left a little too much untidied. However, I really enjoyed the ride. Reading this book was like a meditation in some ways and it was the process that mattered, just as it did for Tsukuru Tazaki.
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Top reviews from other countries

Miss K. Southern
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A thoughtful, captivating mystery with an infuriating ending...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 27, 2018
Oh. Boy. I had to really give myself a little bit of time to breathe and control myself before reviewing this one, because my reaction to it was SO STRONG. On the one hand, that''s a good thing...right? On the other hand...no it wasn''t. It''s actually the second time in my...See more
Oh. Boy. I had to really give myself a little bit of time to breathe and control myself before reviewing this one, because my reaction to it was SO STRONG. On the one hand, that''s a good thing...right? On the other hand...no it wasn''t. It''s actually the second time in my life that I''ve broken my vows to the bookworm life and thrown an actual book across the room. But let me explain. To begin with? I was kind of into this book. It was a slow starter, took ages to get to any of the points that it wanted to make and was probably the most hipster thing I''d read in a long time. But that''s okay, I was in the mood for something a little deeper, full of symbolism, and possibly a teeny bit pretentious. Then came the middle, and my rating of this book soared. I was totally gripped! It got weird of course, which I understand to be a trait of Murakami''s. Sex dreams, paranormal stories, an obsession with stations and strange inner monologues all featured, but I was gripped by a need to get answers. The story has so many plot twists, and they all are designed to make the reader not only question themselves and life, but be invested in what had happened and would happen to the characters. I liked Tsukuru as a characters, elements of his life (his anxieties and depression especially) resonated with my own experiences and that made me care about him. And then...it ended. Or rather, it didn''t. Because after solving only one mystery, Murakami wasted his final chapters obsessing some more over Japanese stations, reflecting on Tsukuru''s watch and family, do some ''deep thinking'' and then go to bed not answering a phone that KEPT RINGING. Who was on the other end? I don''t know. But what about Sara''s answer? *shrug*. Hang on, what happened to Shiro and Haida? NO IDEA. It left me feeling SO frustrated, and even a little cheated. I hate vague endings, but this didn''t even feel like an ending. I should never feel like I''m missing pages when reading a book. So why did I give this book a high-ish rating? Because it has been a while since I cared THAT much about ''what happens at the end''. I can''t deny that I was hooked on this one, and the writing was good too. Murakami is certainly a master at what he does. I''m just not sure it''s to my personal taste.
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Nicole
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
10/10 Would Recommend
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 10, 2018
Murakami has done it again with his bizarre yet wonderful narrative creations. This book, although seemingly quite plotless to begin with has in fact a rather deep meaning behind. As the you read on, an eerie atmosphere kind of grows throughout the novel as the truth and...See more
Murakami has done it again with his bizarre yet wonderful narrative creations. This book, although seemingly quite plotless to begin with has in fact a rather deep meaning behind. As the you read on, an eerie atmosphere kind of grows throughout the novel as the truth and facts unravel in Tsukuru''s journey. I love this book as it makes you think afterwards and leaves you hollow, yet fulfilled. If you are a fan of Murakami, then definitely give this a try.
6 people found this helpful
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L. Hutt
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Disappointed Murakami fan
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 27, 2017
As a Murakami fan (In particular I love 1Q84, Kafka on the Shore and Hardboiled Wonderland), I was really looking forward to this. It was a major disappointment. A bit like a much lesser version of Norwegian Wood in style but the main character was insipid and the story was...See more
As a Murakami fan (In particular I love 1Q84, Kafka on the Shore and Hardboiled Wonderland), I was really looking forward to this. It was a major disappointment. A bit like a much lesser version of Norwegian Wood in style but the main character was insipid and the story was uninspiring and directionless. I did not like the ''reason'' for the mystery that drove the story in the beginning and I began to become quite irritated by the ways in which women were being portrayed. There was so very little of the bizarre that Murakami does so well and without that, and with an absolute overload on the classic Murakami OTT descriptions of features it just really started to annoy me.
3 people found this helpful
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R. Taylor
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
At the realism end of magic realism...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 1, 2015
...but achieves a really magical emotional depth. I had to come back to this review after reading others'' reviews. Clearly although a lot of us care a lot about Murakami, we differ a lot on what''s good and what''s not. I have to say that this one feels like a monster...See more
...but achieves a really magical emotional depth. I had to come back to this review after reading others'' reviews. Clearly although a lot of us care a lot about Murakami, we differ a lot on what''s good and what''s not. I have to say that this one feels like a monster achievement. The magic realism is left behind, the story is all realism, yet the magic remains - and that''s amazing. The set-up is intriguing. Yet the real genius comes after the ''reveal'' with the long, elegiac coda that is uncharacteristically emotional. As ever in Murakami there are people failing to communicate, failing to connect. For once he captures the tragedy of this truism. The ending, so criticised by many reviewers here, is, well ... just perfect. I wonder if he''ll ever be able to do better than this. It''s wonderful. What a writer!
6 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Thought-Provoking and Unusual
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 19, 2017
From the offset, Murakami has the reader questioning. This continues throughout the book as the character pursues answers, and we are taken on an unusual journey for answers with a surprisingly satisfying ending that has us questioning the events of the book and leaves us...See more
From the offset, Murakami has the reader questioning. This continues throughout the book as the character pursues answers, and we are taken on an unusual journey for answers with a surprisingly satisfying ending that has us questioning the events of the book and leaves us thinking and asking questions.
3 people found this helpful
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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki lowest and His new arrival Years of Pilgrimage online

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki lowest and His new arrival Years of Pilgrimage online

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki lowest and His new arrival Years of Pilgrimage online

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki lowest and His new arrival Years of Pilgrimage online

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki lowest and His new arrival Years of Pilgrimage online

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki lowest and His new arrival Years of Pilgrimage online

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki lowest and His new arrival Years of Pilgrimage online

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki lowest and His new arrival Years of Pilgrimage online

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki lowest and His new arrival Years of Pilgrimage online

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki lowest and His new arrival Years of Pilgrimage online

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki lowest and His new arrival Years of Pilgrimage online

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki lowest and His new arrival Years of Pilgrimage online

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki lowest and His new arrival Years of Pilgrimage online

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki lowest and His new arrival Years of Pilgrimage online