In Progress: Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood
Harumi Murakami
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I’m about half-way through Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami. I had the book on my wish list forever, and then finally bought after last summers writing conference, because so many people there were talking up Murakami. Honestly, I’m not impressed.

I mean, I don’t hate the book. The characters are well written, certainly the protagonist is every inch an unfocused college student, but I’m finding his story more frustrating than compelling, perhaps because I have no focus of my own right now.

Part of my negative response, I think, is that there’s about as much romance, even in the “romantic” scenes of this book as there are in lists of Ferrari parts. Actually, considering that the Ferrari bits eventually lead to a working Ferrari, the list is probably more compelling.

And that’s the problem. With this book, there’s no real, driving, plot. There’s no “there” there, and there’s no motivation to take the journey.

I’ll finish the book, because I’m trying to not buy new books (except dog training manuals) until I’ve finished my existing stack, but unless something changes drastically, I’m afraid I won’t be burning to read any more Murakami in the near future.