Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Solid, simple, moving.

You do not read this book for the plot – you read it for the writing style and the characters. It is simply Murakami’s prose that holds your attention through what amounts to 300 uneventful pages. Every page was oddly calming and meditating, as he described the ins and outs of the college life, friendships, and relationships of a “ordinary” kid called Toru Wanatabe. What saved this book were it’s last 90 pages – which brought the whole meandering tale to an epic close. From Midori’s letter to Naoko’s death, to his conversation with Reiko, everything about those pages was evocative and poetic.

Without them, I would have to knock off a hypothetical star from the rating. When the book was finished, it left a sort of profound emptiness inside. The beauty of this book isn’t in something tangible – it’s quite literally in the subtext and themes and vibes.

In conclusion, if you find yourself moved by Murakami’s writing style, and have the patience to sit through at least 250 pages of meandering character development, there is legitimately quite a moving and epic payoff in there for you.