COLORLESS TSUKURU TAZAKI AND HIS YEARS OF PILGRIMAGE
By Haruki Murakami
What’s it about?
I have been wanting to read a novel by Haruki Murakami for a very long time. This book is the latest in a long line of novels that are incredibly popular in Japan and also with literary critics. The central character in this book, Tsukuru Tazaki, is a young Japanese man who is struggling to make sense of his life. His name "Tsukuru" means builder and he has always been fascinated with train stations. He ultimately becomes an engineer specializing in the building and renovating of train stations. During his second year of college he is devastated when he is cut off by his group of high school friends. The close group consists of four other students, two other boys and two girls. He is the only student without a color in his surname, (blue, red, white, and black) thus the title of the book. After this experience he feels colorless and unworthy and this impacts his relationships going forward. He gets to a point in his life where he must examine the mystery of what happened in this friendship and then move forward.
What did it make me think about?
This book seems like it has many layers. I think if I read it over and over again I would garner more from it each time. It certainly made me think about our self perceptions versus other peoples' perceptions of us. How does the way we view ourselves color our path in life?
Should I read it?
I really enjoyed this book. At times it seemed uneven, but the prose is beautiful and the plot is just as good as the writing. The mystery of why Tsukuru is ostracized keeps you wanting to turn the pages. Murakami is a writer I will be exploring more in the future.
"As we go through life we gradually discover who we are, but the more we discover, the more we lose ourselves."
What novel do you suggest I try next by Haruki Murakami?
If you liked this try-
A Gesture Life by Chang Rae-Lee
8 1/2 stars
best of winter/spring 2017-18
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!