Norwegian Wood
book — Japan — 1987

I guess not without a reason I consider myself quite a fan of Mr. Murakami`s writing style which bears very little from his Japanese culture and very much from everything else. As I read on the back cover of this book this novel was the one that brought Mr. Murakami recognision of the world. To be honest, I don`t agree with the world in that case. Vanatabe remembers the days of his youth, the time he knew Naoko. She was once the girlfriend of his very best friend, but after the friend died he sorta got the girlfriend from him. After they had sex the first and only time Naoko went to a rehabilitation hospital because her mind wasn`t quite right. Meanwhile Vanatabe met Midori - a completely perverse girl - at the university where he studied. They also had something like a relationship. Later on Vanatabe visited Naoko at the place of her curing and met Reyko - her roommate, another weird person. In the end Naoko died but Vanatabe couldn`t manage to stay together with Midori. After having read this do you know why I didn`t like the book? I don`t think so, because I didn`t mention it yet. The book is too "erotic" - description of genitalia, masturbation, oral sex, many different sex scenes, a woman of 31 getting wet when touched in her private parts by a girl of 13 - you name it. And I, despite being quite edgy sometimes on the outside, don`t like something like this in a book. I gotta admit that things like these can`t make a good book become a bad one. But if life is really like this I don`t have too much sympathy for life. At least the ending where Vanatabe and Reyko spend a night together just so she can "have practice" - damn is that imho nasty. (I still don`t rate this book particulary low because if Murakami hadn`t gone into details of love-making the book would be quite good)
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