Review: Norwegian Wood

Norwegian Wood
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Death was not the opposite of life. It was already here, within my being, it had always been here, and no struggle would permit me to forget that.”

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami is a fictional novel set in 1960s Tokyo. Norwegian Wood, which gets its title from The Beatles song of the same name, is a novel that centered in death and the feeling of loss related to it. The song is often mentioned in the novel, and is the favourite song of the character Naoko.

The book begins with the narrator, Toru Watanabe, on a plane and looking back to when he was 19 in the late 1960s as a college student living in Tokyo.He recalled Naoko, a childhood friend with whom he shared a traumatic experience, the tragic suicide of Kizuki, Naoko’s boyfriend and his best friend. Naoko grows increasingly troubled and goes to an isolated mental facility. Meanwhile, Toru strikes up a friendship with Midori, a fiercely independent and lively classmate who is exactly the polar opposite of Naoko.

“Why?” she screamed. “Are you crazy? You know the English subjunctive, you understand trigonometry, you can read Marx, and you don’t know the answer to something as simple as that? Why do you even have to ask? Why do you have to make a girl SAY something like this? I like you more than I like him, that’s all. I wish I had fallen in love with somebody a little more handsome, of course. But I didn’t. I fell in love with you!” – Midori

Norwegian Wood is the first book of Haruki Murakami that I read. Norwegian Wood is a story of love, commitment and coming of age and is simply one of few books that you wouldn’t stop reading once you started it. It was a emotional read with endearing characters. I really enjoyed the characters and identified with their struggles. The story is dark but not overwhelming. In this book, Murakami really shows you the intricacy of depression, suicide, and the struggle of characters to get past the tragedies in their lives and find happiness.

The Beatles’ song Norwegian wood is a favourite of Naoko’s and Reiko plays it frequently on her guitar. The lyrics could describe Toru’s relationship with Naoko as well as Midori:
“I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me.”

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“Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division

“Love Will Tear Us Apart” is a song by the British post-punk band Joy Division. It was written in August 1979. The lyrics reflects the problems in Ian Curtis’s marriage to Deborah Curtis, as well as his general frame of mind in the time leading up to his suicide in May 1980.

The lyrics describe a love that was once strong but has undergone some deep and apparently irreconcilable divisions. There is a reference to the epileptic seizures in the lyrics that Ian Curtis was suffering with at the time. Curtis came up with the song’s title as a sarcastic response to Captain & Tennille’s hit “Love Will Keep Us Together.” The song’s primary focus is his troubled relationship with his wife, his teenage love, Debbie. Curtis was not faithful to his wife while touring with Joy Division. Debbie remained at home with their child and Ian had an affair with a Belgian woman by the name of Annik Honore. Ian fell in love with Annik and the affair weighed heavily on him.

Lyrics:
When routine bites hard,
And ambitions are low.
And resentment rides high,
But emotions won’t grow.
And we’re changing our ways,
Taking different roads.

Love, love will tear us apart again.
Love, love will tear us apart again.

Why is the bedroom so cold?
Turned away on your side.
Is my timing that flawed?
Our respect run so dry?
Yet there’s still this appeal,
That we’ve kept through our lives.

Love, love will tear us apart again.
Love, love will tear us apart again.

Do you cry out in your sleep?
All my failings exposed…
Gets a taste in my mouth
As desperation takes hold.
Why is it something so good
Just can’t function no more?

Love, love will tear us apart again.
Love, love will tear us apart again.
Love, love will tear us apart again.
Love, love will tear up apart again.

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Game of Thrones Characters in the 80′s/90′s – Part 2

This new set by designer Mike Wrobel casts Ygritte as Jon Snow’s grunge contemporary, Sandor Clegane aka The Hound as the creepy school janitor, Tywin Lannister as the Chief of Police, and Bran as the kid version of Professor X . The color theme for Robb Stark and Talisa Maegyr is perfect, and the radical White Walker in windbreaker enjoying popsicle – Summer is Coming!!

Robb Stark
Talisa Maegyr
Ygritte needs the right outfit to come along with the Grunge version of Jon Snow
Sandor Clegane (The Hound) would be perfect as the typical creepy college janitor we can find in the 80s/90s slasher movies. Everything tends to make us believe he is the murderer, but come on! he wears a Homer Simpson t-shirt
Tywin Lannister, Chief of Police
Bran Stark
White Walker wearing a very 90’s neon windbreaker and enjoying a popsicle. Summer is coming.

(Source: MOSHI-KUN)