Author: Haruki Murakami
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Summary: This book was written in the same beautiful, dreamy style I loved in 1Q84, but the ending felt a bit less climactic and a bit less resolved.
In high school, Tsukuru Tazaki was part of an inseparable group of friends. Coincidentally, the other four students all had colors in their name and Tsukuru didn’t, a fact that he found significant because he also believed himself to be the most average of the group. About a year after Tsukuru moved away, his four friends cut off all contact with him and refused to explain why. When, many years later, Tsukuru meets a woman he cares for deeply, he realizes that he needs to understand what happened with his friends before he can move on and believe he might be loved by someone else.
Some other readers have mentioned disliking that Murakami so often writes about men having midlife crises. I’ve only read this book and 1Q84 so I might change my mind later, but right now I feel like I’d be willing to read about anything as long as it was written in Murakami’s signature style. Like 1Q84, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki often felt very surreal. There is an almost dreamlike quality to the book which sometimes makes it difficult to distinguish dreams from memories and characters’ speculations from what really happened. Although Murakami sometimes includes dream scenes or stories which don’t obviously advance the plot, I love these digressions. The sharing of something as intimate as dreams makes me feel as though I know the main character. And both the dreams and the stories set the tone for the book. I did miss the magical realism of 1Q84, but the dreaminess of the book meant I didn’t miss it too much.
One thing I liked better about this book than 1Q84 was the more modern feel. I liked that technology played a small role in the story of his reconnection with his friends and I liked the hints that one of the characters might be gay. One thing I liked less than 1Q84 was the ending. I know some people enjoy books which leave a bit to the readers imagination, but I like my books tied up neat. In this book, I felt like we were building to one meeting and were than left hanging right before it occurred. This is purely personal preference, but I would have liked this book a lot more with one final, climactic chapter. The end just kind of fizzled for me.
Do you like books which leave something to your imagination? Or do you prefer that the author wrap everything up for you?