Book Reviews

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami || Book Review

Genre: Fiction
Publication: Vintage
No. of Pages: 358
Book Type: Standalone
My Rating: 2/5
Trigger Warning: Misogynic, Death, Depression, Suicide


When he hears her favorite 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 the world of uneasy friendships, Casual sex, passion, loss and desire – to a time when an impetuous young women called Midori marched into his life and he had to choose between the future and the past.

Toru Watanabe: MC
Nauko, Midori, Reiko : The female characters in the book (all mentally unstable)
Kizuki, Nagasawa, Strom Trooper: Toru’s Friends

On the Plot:

It is one of atmospheric book, there is no such plot in this book. It is basically kind of a fictional memoir kind of book which was being described by the main character Toru Watanabe.

Writing & Theme

It was absolutely atmospheric and phenomenal in the beginning and I enjoyed looking forward for the story to take pace and the characters to unfurl. I was so disappointed with the misogynistic comments and statements written in the book. I could not get past them with a clear mind. I kept reading only to get more disappointed further. I am not going to get further into this, rather I am going to just cite a few references which made me mad:
“girl-hunting”, “there were two girls sitting next to me, not knockouts, just okay looking”, ” GD, PI’s are like… screwing girls. In other words, easy.”


Toru Watanabe: is portrayed as a superman. He is always surrounded by many girls and he sleeps with girls left right center, especially girls who are mentally unstable. No wait, all the girls described in the book are mentally unstable or else going through something really weird. He is always detached and every girl he meets falls in love with him in an instant, or just opens up to him or gels up with him like they have known each other for ages. And, the way he treats to these girls initially – like dirt. Also, somehow he always falls in love with his friend’s girl. He literally sleeps with a random stranger girl with whom he met 4 hours ago and got into talking. The girl was upset that her boyfriend cheated on her and the Main Character in the story just sleeps with her or else it would have been awkward (mentioned in the book). What would have been awkward? I need explanation!

Nagasawa: Trust me, if I see this person in real life, I would kill him on spot. What the hell was wrong with him. He had an amazing girlfriend and he was unfaithful with her. Also, this was written so casually as if the author wants people to pursue that? He used to go out with Toru and hook up with any girls (“girl-hunting”) just because they needed a release?

You do not write something you do not endorse. Period.

Midori, Reiko, Nauko – all were mentally unstable. What is wrong with the author that he could not write atleast one female character who was in a good mental condition, or was able to think straight!


  • Absolutely disliked the book.
  • I will never recommend it to anyone, and this is my first and last Murakami Book.
  • The two star I gave to this book is because the scenery / backdrop was amazing and that the first two chapters were written quite well.

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