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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimageby Haruki Murakami
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki may be a simple story, but it carries an emotional heft that feels like a throwback to one of Murakami's classic early novels, like Norwegian Wood. His ephemeral and effortless prose flows like a perfectly choreographed dream and will leave you as satisfied as a long afternoon nap.
About as introspective as a novel can be, Murakami's latest spends its entirety inside the somewhat sad mind of its protagonist. Damaged by a betrayal he cannot comprehend, Tsukuru is a man wholly undone by his closest friends. After years of loneliness, and only after stumbling into a new relationship with a woman who insists on his complete presence, Tsukuru realizes he must unravel his tangled past. Hoping for a new life of connections and companionship, Tsukuru tracks down his former friends and is, perhaps, a bit more kind than they deserve. Murakami writes with crisp, clear prose, and his characters feel wonderfully alive. A detailed character study, "Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage" is delicately done; a lovely read.
Synopses & Reviews
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the long-awaited new novel — a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan — from the award-winning, internationally best-selling author Haruki Murakami.
Here he gives us the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages.
"Murakami's (1Q84) latest novel, which sold more than a million copies during its first week on sale in Japan, is a return to the mood and subject matter of the acclaimed writer's earlier work. Living a simple, quotidian life as a train station engineer, Tsukuru is compelled to reexamine his past after a girlfriend suggests he reconnect with a group of friends from high school. A tight-knit fivesome for years, the group suddenly alienated Tsukuru under mysterious circumstances when he was in college. For months after the break, not knowing what had gone wrong, he became obsessed with death and slowly lost his sense of self: 'I've always seen myself as an empty person, lacking color and identity. Maybe that was my role in the group. To be empty.' Feeling his life will only progress if he can tie up those emotional loose ends, Tsukuru journeys through Japan and into Europe to meet with the members of the group and unravel what really happened 16 years before. The result is a vintage Murakami struggle of coming to terms with buried emotions and missed opportunities, in which intentions and pent up desires can seemingly transcend time and space to bring both solace and desolation." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Hypnotically fascinating....A journey of immense magnitude, both physically...and, of course, metaphysically, as Tazaki attempts to make sense of his own inner world and the dreams that shape his other dimension. There are always other dimensions in Murakami’s novels, and while they can seem impenetrable, they eventually feed into and help vivify the powerful personal dramas taking place on a purely human level. In the end, Murakami writes love stories, all the more tender and often tragic for their exploration of the multiple realities in which his lovers live.” Booklist (starred review)
“Murakami devotees will sigh with relief at finding his usual memes — the moon, Cutty Sark, a musical theme, ringing telephones, a surreal story-within-a story (this time about passing on death and possibly six fingers). That the novel sold over one million copies its first week in Japan guarantees — absolutely, deservedly so — instant best-seller status stateside as well.” Library Journal (starred review)
“One of Murakami’s more memorable protagonists...a testament to the mystery, magic, and mastery of this much-revered Japanese writer’s imaginative powers. Murakami’s moxie is characterized by a brilliant detective-story-like blend of intuition, hard-nosed logic, impeccable pacing, and poetic revelations....[He] reveals Tazaki’s pilgrimage through stunning psychologically and philosophically charged passages that are alternately all too real and almost hallucinatory....Tazaki’s quest restores him to the cycle of love, loss, and resurrection that is time’s eternal flow in surprising, delightful, and sometimes frightening ways, none of which will be lost on lucky readers of this new masterpiece.” Elle
“Another tour de force from Japan’s greatest living novelist....Murakami writes with the same murky sense of time that characterized 1Q84, but this book, short and haunting, is really of a piece with older work such as Norwegian Wood and, yes, Kafka on the Shore. The reader will enjoy watching Murakami play with color symbolism down to the very last line of the story, even as Tsukuru sinks deeper into a dangerous enigma....A trademark story that blends the commonplace with the nightmarish in a Japan full of hollow men.” Kirkus (starred review)
The new novel — a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan — from the internationally acclaimed author, his first since IQ84.
About the Author
Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. He is the author of many novels as well as short stories and non-fiction. His works include Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, After Dark, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, and 1Q84. His work has been translated into more than forty languages, and the most recent of his many international honours is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J.M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V.S. Naipaul.
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