Another one by Murakami, this time friendship is the main focus of the book. And as always, he never disappoints, atleast me!!
Tsukuru Tazaki is a simple high school boy fascinated with train stations. He’s just a guy next door. He is having a normal life until he is kicked out of the special group of five friends including him. This sudden outcast turns his life upside down and makes him suicidal. It almost kills him to have been treated like this. He lives with this baggage for 16 years when his girlfriend asks him to dig out the buried past and find answers to the WHYs! The answers which I will not reveal here!
Unlike him, the four of Tsukuru’s friends have some color in their Japanese names. That’s why he considers himself colorless and hence the name. His pilgrimage is to his own past..his 20-year-old self’s life and friends! It’s about friendships, which may or may not be able to sustain as people move on from adolescence to adult lives. It’s about loss, self realisation and conciliation. Anyone who has had long friendships or has experienced short lived friendships can relate to a lot of it! The only thing i did not like about the book was the way women were portrayed to be manipulative and not taking a stand for what they believe in. Well, there are such women undoubtedly, so take it with a grain of salt. Without it, the book wouldn’t be what it is anyways!
The prose is typical ‘Murakami’ type, is easy yet thought-provoking and interestingly written with an expected element of Magical Realism. There are some very powerful, beautiful statements in this book, some of which are shared below at the end of the review! To be honest, one of the books from where I can borrow quotes for a long time! I guess, these lines made me love the book so much! The title is so intriguing! There are some loose ends and unanswered questions but I did not mind them at all! As a reader, I was satisfied :)! At the end of the day, Murakami books are just Murakami books!
BTW, I have seen couple of covers of this book and loved them !!
“You can hide memories, but you can’t erase the history that produced them.”
“History cannot be erased or altered.Because that would mean killing yourself.”
“One heart is not connected to another through harmony alone. They are, instead, linked deeply through their wounds. Pain linked to pain, fragility to fragility. There is no silence without a cry of grief, no forgiveness without bloodshed, no acceptance without a passage through acute loss. That is what lies at the root of true harmony.”
“As we go through life we gradually discover who we are, but the more we discover, the more we lose ourselves.”
“Some things in life are too complicated to explain in any language.”
“No matter how honestly you open up to someone, there are still things you cannot reveal.”
“People whose freedom is taken away always end up hating somebody.
“Never let fear and stupid pride make you lose someone who’s precious to you.”
“Life is long, and sometimes cruel. Sometimes victims are needed. Someone has to take on that role. And human bodies are fragile, easily damaged. Cut them, and they bleed.”
“Let’s say you are an empty vessel. So what? What’s wrong with that?” Eri said. “You’re still a wonderful, attractive vessel. And really, does anybody know who they are? So why not be a completely beautiful vessel? The kind people feel good about, the kind people want to entrust with precious belongings.”
“The world isn’t that easily turned upside down, Haida replied. It’s people who are turned upside down.”