I have been wanting to read anything from Murakami after hearing so much mystery and praise from him on the internet for the past few years, so when I found a used copy at my bookstore of the new release, I picked it up instantly.
Originally published in Japanese and later translated and released in English, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage joined the Best-Sellers list within its first few weeks and for very good reason!! This story follows Tsukuru, a train station engineer, and his journey of dealing with/reconciliation of broken relationships in his past while trying to cope with the present. Although definitely not a love story, this work was so beautiful and a haunting tale of how we treat people we love and how we view ourselves. There were countless abstract comparisons to these themes that left me nodding my head while reading! Also those moments when you collapse the book on your chest and roll your eyes because- its. just. so. right. Murakami has a way of making the reader realize very large ideas on human relationships but put very simply, almost like 'how did it take someone else to describe what I have thought for years, how did he know that?'
“Some things in life are too complicated to explain in any language.” - Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
This is one of very few books I have read that wasn't first written in English and culturally, the book was very different too. Towns, customs, names, traditions I have never heard of made the story a bit hard for me to follow at first and difficult to get into, but once I did I was hooked. The main character has such a different style of relationships (or lack there of) in his adult life compared to what the social norm is and made for such a page turner. In several passages he talks about how he doesn't understand the concept of consistent relationships and how it complicates the order of his life, something that I don't think I have ever really thought about because most people are very well connected with multiple relationships- getting in the mind of this fictional characters mind was a bit haunting and lonely. I loved the multiple stories from different time frames weaving in and out of the story and coming back together at the end!
“The truth sometimes reminds me of a city buried in sand. As time passes, the sand piles up even thicker, and occasionally it's blown away and what's below is revealed.” - Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
If this makes any sense: I recommend this book to not a genre of reader but a time; its overcast for several days, you have a misguided feeling of homesick, the last several thoughts or conversations you have had were based around not knowing the direction you are going or the purpose of current relationships, and (as far as reading goes) you're not looking for a happy break from reality but something you can dive into. Or, if you have never felt any of these feelings (I would like to meet you first) then read this because its fascinating. Not a quick read, not super dense, but will stick with you for a long time and will make you think- and isn't that the point?