Norwegian Wood. No, not the famous jingle from the 60s by Beatles. If you are an avid reader, you’ll straightaway connect it to the novel ‘Norwegian Wood’ by Haruki Murakami.This book was a hit in Japan when it was released in 1987 there. It attracted more fame to its name after its English translation by Jay Rubin hit the bookstalls world wide.
This novel is something to which every youth can connect to. A book about friends, college, struggles of life, heartbreaks, constant fear of losing someone, death and the pain attached to losing somebody.
This is one of those novels that helps you understand the deeper complexities of life. The intricate level of pain that stakes into your heart after losing someone who will never come back.
Murakami has beautifully contrasted two pictures in one story. The cold winter days attributing to death and grief and bright sunny day and blooming flowers a summer day which tells us that sadness is just temporary in life and happiness will find its way back.
Toru Watanabe is in a plane on his way to Germany when he is recalling the string of events that happened 20 years ago which impacted his life in a very significant way. How he lost two most important people in his life and the excruciating pain he felt which made him forget how to live. Wandering on the streets from one city to another, the loss of will to live and taking up the responsibilties. Although still not late, he realizes what he has done and gathers back himself to be ready to get back on track and tackle life. He makes himself understand that Naoko is dead and all her memories spent with her will stay back with him as ‘good days’ and he’ll continue his life focusing on what’s there in the present. Murakami writes “People whose existence remains only in the minds and heart and every physical attribution of theirs gone with them into their graves.”
Speaking of the title, the story though has reference to the song by Beatles. Apparently, the song ‘Norwegian Wood’ was the favourite song of Naoko. Apart from this, there are many other songs by Beatles which find its place in this book.
Murakami has expressed all the deeper emotions and complexities of life in very simple and lucid manner. To battle through the storm all alone, when the dark nights are still not over and adapting the truth is the most difficult thing of life. I think this is why he is able to connect to his readers so well. To express what’s on our minds which we are unable to speak about. may be one of the reasons why it was and still is hugely popular among the youths.