“Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” Book Review

In books, Japanese culture by Aida Nangle1 Comment

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the latest novel by Haruki Murakami. If you haven’t read his novels, viagra you are missing a very talented writer. This summer I read Kafka on the Shore. When I saw an announcement of Murakami’s newest novel, I immediately ordered a copy. Colorless is a relatively short good weekend read. The story opens with Tsukuru, as a college sophomore, learning that his four closest friends from high school cut off all communication with him. This changes Tsukuru for life. The novel has three time periods: Tsukuru’s high school years in Nagoya; his college years in Tokyo; and as a 36 year old employed engineer. Although much of the storyline takes place during Tsukuru’s adulthood, the story returns to his time in school, and it is only toward the end of the novel that we learn why his four friends terminated their relationship with him. Unlike them, Tsukuru’s name does not translate to a particular color. His friends’ surnames reflect colors: Miss White; Miss Black; Mr. Red and Mr. Blue. Tsukuru’s name translated is “to make”. Tsukuru’s only other college friend’s name, Haida, means gray. The colors are metaphors for personalities. As in Kafka on the Shore, the novel explores the difficulties of a young male coming of age in a society without the companionship or relationship of a father. Kafka and Tsukura, however, are very different males as were their fathers. Tsukuru’s efforts to learn what happened in his past allows him to finally grow as an adult. Interestingly, the individual who pushes Tsukuru to make peace with his own history also has no color in her name. Her dress and her life, however, are very color-oriented. The story holds your interest and the quality of Murakami’s writing is world class. For example: “There is no silence without a cry of grief, no forgiveness without bloodshed, no acceptance without a passage of acute loss.” I’ve read that Murakami has been considered for the Nobel Prize in literature. Colorless, a relatively short work, will give you a feel as to why he is deserving of such consideration. Then, after reading longer tales such as Kafka on the Shore, I believe that you, too, will be convinced that Murakami is deserving of such an honor.

Steve Guttman

Comments

  1. Have you read his other book, ” IQ84″? Difficult to understand! I also heard that he is the only very successful writer who doesn’t share book profits with his translator, unlike other writers in Japan whose success out of their language is attributed to the skill of the translations.

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