A caveat, before we begin: Murakami is one of my favourite authors. So chances are I was bound to dig this anyway. But I must confess – when I begin every new work of his, I find myself questioning whether I really like what I’m reading. Whether I understand it. I’ve read his stuff so long I feel that liking it out of the gate is almost a default setting – but I was happy to feel slightly conflicted, at least, with this new one.
I’ve yet to slog my way through IQ84 so I can’t say exactly how Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His years of Pilgrimage compares to its predecessor. But if we divide the author’s work into “weird” and “normal”, then this falls into the latter. If anything, it reminded me of a variation on some of the themes touched on in Norwegian Wood – though “love, loss and youth” is a pretty wide remit.
Some claim Murakami is a one-trick pony, but I don’t really buy it. (more…)