Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami(Published by Harvill Secker, an imprint of Random House)
The title of Murakami’s latest offering is long and laborious for lazy tongues, but then you have to remember that it is a translation from the Japanese - so don’t let that put you off.
The Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage is classic Murakami and reading it felt like visiting an old friend. Familiar.
A bit like one of his earlier novels, Norwegian Wood, The Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki confronts those intense, bordering obsessive, friendships we cultivate as teenagers.
Do we realise how malleable we are at that stage of our lives and how much those relationships mould us, or break our moulds, as adults? The exaggerated love and heartbreak we experience then has an almost never ending ripple effect on our lives.
And this is what Tsukuru Tazaki’s pilgrimage is all about: digging deep to try and understand the friendships of his past, what shattered them and discovering how it changed him.
As always, Murakami’s storytelling is seeped in surrealism and references to music. Events take place or did our hero dream them? Has Tsukuru suppressed the most tragic episode of his childhood?
If so, why? Will he finally be able to have a real relationship with a woman when he finds out?
If you’ve been bitten by a Murakami novel in the past you’ll know it’s like a vampire bite.
You will have turned into the type of cult fan that pre-orders his books and contemplates learning Japanese, just so that you don’t have to wait 18 months for the translation and no matter what he has written, you’ll love it - even if you can barely admit that it wasn’t quite as good as one of your other favourites.
It’s still Murakami.
It’s still magical and weird and wonderful. And you are sure your imagination did gymnastics down a rabbit hole when you read it.
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