The book Norwegian wood talks about the sweet pain that comes with unrequited love (one sided love). It also shows the effects of suicide, abandonment, loneliness. The pressure comes when someone near to heart suicides. The affection of the dear ones after people goes away from their life.
The title comes from a famous song by The Beatles named Norwegian Wood. The story is a flashback of Toru’s life. He is at the start of the book 37 years old while travelling to Germany suddenly from nowhere hears the song Norwegian Wood. After listening to the song, his memories flashes and then readers are introduced with the 18 year old Toru and then 20 year Toru.
Toru is the protagonist of the story. He reminiscent his childhood and thinks about the love, tragedy, moments etc. He thinks of his college life, friends back at that time, Nagasawa, Hatsumi, Kizuki, Midori in Japan.
The story is set in Japan. Naoko is Kizuki’s girlfriend. One day Kizuki commits suicide and his death puts Naoko into depression. Toru was highly attached to his friend so his death left him in dilemma. The pain of losing Kizuki brings Toru and Naoko close to each other.
Now the unrequited love between Naoko and Toru begins. Toru was in love with Naoko unlike Naoko. They meet in Tokyo with each other accidently because both of them left the city they lost Kizuki. They wanted to stay in a place where no one will recognize them and they start new but the fate decides the meet.
He meets Nagasawa in college as his only good friend. They shared the same dormitory. Midori is Toru’s another love interest. Midori is the opposite character of Naoko. She is bold, frank, lovely and sweet in straight face. She was clear in his thoughts and expressed herself fully.
The story is quite sad and depressing. Toru after coming to Tokyo becomes too indecisive to be decent. He went around sleeping with girls with no emotions attached. He did not know what to do in the state he had after losing his closest friend of all time.
All the characters are bit different or one can say as weird that won’t be considered by society. Every character goes through pain and tragedy. Some people choose to end life and escape the reality while some choose life over death.
Nagasawa is the selfish guy among all but the things he says or advices he offers to Toru helps Toru get out from the darkest times of his life. He plays a character of witty yet arrogant personality.
Reiko is a musician who has also suffered a lot. She is eleven years older Naoko and Toru. From her experiences she puts efforts to show them right path. She puts things together to save these guys life but unfortunately she could not save Naoko’s life.
One of the lines Nagasawa tells is
Don’t ever feel sorry for yourself, only arseholes do that
It says one can always change one’s life. Never ever lose hope.
One of the lines by Midori is
Okay I will wait Toru. I believe in you. When you take me you take only me
Midori is the most favorite character of most of the readers. She is amazing truly.
Toru keeps meeting different people throughout his dormitory life and how their experiences shaped Toru’s life. It helped him take a comeback in his life, move on in life and accept life is pretty much the story of the Norwegian Wood.
The book does not give any closure. It is unclear and left for the readers’ interpretation towards the ending of the story. I think that is what makes a book a masterpiece. A very impressive saddening fictional story Norwegian Wood which gives a perception in reader’s mind about the consequences of life and dealing with the life when in shock or depression.
It can always leave a lasting impression in one’s mind. A must read passionate book. It teaches a lot about life and death being the part of life.