Murakami, Haruki "Norwegian Wood" (Noruwei no mori, ノルウェイの森) - 1987
♫ I once had a girl, or should I say, she once had me... ♫
♫ She showed me her room, isn't it good, Norwegian wood? ♫
I have always liked The Beatles. No, I have always loved The Beatles. Especially their slower songs. Therefore, I always wanted to read this book, ever since I first saw the title.
There is so much in this story, it's hard to get it all together, the problems of a teenager growing up, the problems of dealing with a sudden death, first love, second love, illness, especially depression. I am not a fan of poetry but this novel reads like beautiful poetry. I love the style, the flow of the words.
There is a connection to the main character, Toru Watanabe, you understand his feelings, his actions. And the same to all the other characters, Naoko, his friend of his youth, Midori, his student friend and Reiko Ishida, also an important person in his life.
The book is both sad but also full of hope. Certainly not the last novel by Haruki Murakami that I read.
From the back cover: "When he hears her favourite Beatles song, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend Kizuki. Immediately he is transported back almost twenty years to his student days in Tokyo, adrift in a world of uneasy friendships, casual sex, passion, loss and desire - to a time when an impetuous young woman called Midori marches into his life and he has to choose between the future and the past."