Book Review

February '15

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki & His Years of Pilgrimage (Hardcover)
Haruki Murakami

This title will be out in paperback May 2015.

When you ask for this book, just ask for the new Murakami book - I promise we'll know what you mean!  Cumbersome book title aside, this is an outstanding book.  Originally written in Japanese, well translated, it sold over a million copies the first week in Japan!  The author is an international award winner, and this title's release was much anticipated.

Main character Tsukuru (his name means "builder") was part of a very tight knit goup of friends all through high school.   (The friends names all mean various colors, which is how he became "colorless Tsukuru." )  The group stayed in town after high school, and Tsukuru left home to go to college in Tokyo, where he pursued his lifelong fascination with train stations - and got his degree in building and designing them.  For reasons he did not understand, his group of high school buddies unceremoniously cut him out of the group without explanation.  Emotionally bereft, he continued his career, but never attached himself closely with another person.  Enter a woman named Sara.  They start dating, and Sara tells Tsukuro that until he gets over whatever is blocking him emotionally, he will not be able to live his life fully.  The journey that he takes, his pilgrimage, makes such good reading and raises many questions that beg to be discussed.

If you are looking for a well written book that holds your attention, and makes you think, this is the book for you.  Take care to notice the way the book is presented:  it is an unusual size, and the artwork on the cover and throughout the book adds another layer to the reading experience.  Note the maps! (if you are an e-reader, make an exception and read the real book - you'll miss so much visually if you don't.)