Friday 20 January 2012

Norwegian Wood Readalong Post Two....

I had a bit of a panic on Monday night because I suddenly remembered the next day was Tuesday and Norwegian Wood had been languishing in the corner to which I banished it last week when I made myself stop reading and as far as I remembered I hadn't read past the end of chapter five.. After I'd been panic reading for about ten minutes, it transpired that I was well into chapter 7, at which point I thought it was probably better to just keep going...
Because of that I've finished the book, so I'm going to keep it short this week, and still talk about the allotted chapters next week and the following so as not to ruin it for any of you who haven't yet finished it.

Chapters 5 and 6 were reeeeeally Naoko-ish (yes, this is a word). I missed Midori. I liked that we found out where the hell Naoko had gone off to, and in a way I kind of liked the insular nature of Toru's visit to the sanitorium, but the entire two chapters were basically more about Naoko and Naoko's problems. I still like Murakami's style I think. It's difficult to tell because the things I think I like about it - that it's really simple and kind of mundane in its' description - are the same things that can make me really hate a writer. I think the thing that keeps me reading Norwegian Wood is the same thing that kept me going when I read Kafka on the Shore, which is the quirkiness. He goes on and on talking about bus routes and what Toru ate and drank and what time in the morning it was, and then suddenly he throws in a character like Midori or Reiko, seemingly just for flavour. Also I really like a lot of the descriptions:

"Her face had lots of wrinkles. They were the first thing to catch your eye but they didn't make her look old. Instead, they emphasized a certain youthfulness in her that transcended age. The wrinkles belonged where they were, as if they had been part of her face since birth" p123
I kind of like how visual the book is in general, but especially these chapters in the sanitorium - I really did get the feeling that it was a place outside of reality. Like it had its own time zone and life was kind of suspended while you were there. 

I find Toru and Naoko's relationship increasingly weird though. It kind of seems like the only reason they are really together at all is because Toru feels responsible for Naoko because she was his best friend's girlfriend, and his best friend killed himself, which is clearly not a great thing to base a relationship on. Also it would be good if Norwegian Wood could get out of its' own head a little. It makes my head spin a little bit - they always seem to be talking about really deep stuff, which is fine, but to me it's kind of no wonder they're all a bit messed up if they sit around analysing everything all day. 

These two chapters weren't the greatest for me, I have to admit. I feel like the story is a little lifeless without Midori! 

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