Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami
I just finished reading Norwegion Wood by Haruki Murakami. I’m becoming more addicted to Murakami’s work with everything of his that I read. He is a great writer, and his stories are so refreshing. I also think it was the right time for me to read this book. It’s about going away to University, about life and love and pain and loss. It reminded me a little of Catcher in the Rye in places. I think I’m going to have to re-read it before I go.
I particularly liked the Midori character; she was intoxicating, perverted, spontaneous, cute and honest.

“So I made up my mind I was going to find someone who would love me unconditionally 365 days of the year. I was still in primary school at the time, but I made up my mind once and for all.”
“Wow”, I said. “And did your search pay off?”
“That’s the hard part,” said Midori. She watched the rising smoke for a while, thinking. “I guess I’ve been waiting so long I’m looking for perfection. That makes it tough.”
Waiting for the perfect love?”
“No, even I know better than that. I’m looking for selfishness. Perfect selfishness. Like, say I tell you I want to eat strawberry shortbread. And you stop everything you’re doing and run out and buy it for me. And you come back out of breath and get down on you knees and hold this strawberry shortbread out to me. And I say I don’t want it anymore and throw it out the window. That’s what I’m looking for.”
“I’m not sure that has anything to do with love,” I said with some amazement.
“It does,” she said. “You just don’t know it. There are times in a girl’s life when things like that are incredibly important.”
“Things like throwing strawberry shortbread out the window?”
“Exactly. And when I do it, I want the man to apologize to me. ‘Now I see, Midori. What a fool I’ve been! I should have known that you would lose your desire for strawberry shortbread. I have all the intelligence and sensitivity of a piece of donkey shit. To make it up to you, I’ll go out and buy you something else. What would you like? Chocolate mousse? Cheesecake?”
“So then what?”
“So then I’d give him all the love he deserves for what he’s done.”
“Sounds crazy to me.”
“Well, to me, that’s what love is. Not that anyone can understand me, though.” Midori gave her head a little shake against my shoulder. “For a certain kind of person, love begins from something tiny or silly. From something like that or it doesn’t begin at all.”
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood, pp:99-100 (Jay Rubin translation).

I like everything about this book, so much so that I’m going to take it with me. Sacrifice some of the scarce free room in my backpack, and bring it along. I might have to bring one less pair of socks!
I’m listening to Norwegian Wood by the Beatles at the moment (of course!).

3 thoughts on “Midori

  1. From the first page.
    “Once the plane was on the ground, soft music began to flow from the ceiling speakers: a sweet orchestral cover version of the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood”. The melody never failed to send a shudder through me, but this time it hit me harder than ever.”
    It was Naoko’s favourite song. Naoko being Watanabe’s (the protagonist’s) first love.


  2. I’m really glad you liked it… Knew you would though. I read Norwegian Wood about two years ago and since then, Murakami’s been one of my favourite authors. He is a great observer of the human condition, and has a way of saying really poigniant things in really subtle ways. Bleargh. I hate to talk about my favourite authors because I can never put my finger on what exactly makes them good… But anyway… Murakami rocks.


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