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Michael's Book Babble

I'm an indie author and a scribbler of inane babble. I talk about books I've read/liked. Or at least, that's the plan.


Most of the reviews will be considered "mini-reviews." Usually, it's mostly my reaction to what I've been reading. There are people who are far better at doing full and helpful reviews. But I still have fun doing them, and hope you enjoy them!

The past is never finished with us

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage - Jay Rubin, Philip Gabriel, Haruki Murakami

As I've said before, I know of Haruki Murakami more for his short stories, but I've always wanted to experience a novel of his. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the first novel of his I've read, and I have to say I think I picked a pretty good place to start.


The main character, Tsukuru, belonged to a group of friends when he was in high school. They were an extremely close group and did almost everything together. And then one day all of that changed. All of the sudden, his four friends didn't want to see him, or talk to him. And they wouldn't tell him exactly why. One thing was for sure, he was no longer a friend of theirs.


This is something that has haunted Tsukuru for years, to the point where he has horrible nightmares and cannot hold down a single relationship. When he is in his late thirties, even though he managed to find a way to go through with life, he had never fully recovered. The woman he's currently seeing encourages him to visit his former friends, to confront the past once and for all. As much as he doesn't want to, he knows he has to find out why his former friends abandoned him.


I know that Murakami likes to play around with magical realism in his works, but this one's pretty straight forward although there is a theme of dreams and visions throughout the novel. I was pleasantly surprised by Tsukuru's journey, and I too wanted to find out everything that had happened, and why his close group of friends disowned him. I didn't predict anything that ended up happening.


Truth be told, I would've loved for this novel to continue on. The ending is a bit open ended. While we do know about the big mystery, there are still some unanswered questions. Yet that didn't ruin anything for me. Just because I wished a novel could continue doesn't mean I feel dissatisfied or disappointed by the ending. It just happened a lot sooner than I anticipated. Still, I thought this was an excellent novel overall.


I listened to the audiobook for this one. Bruce Locke gives a very good and sober reading. His tone really matches the look and feel of the story.


Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage won't be the last Murakami novel I read. In fact, I'm more anxious to visit his other longer works. I really enjoyed this book. I'm sure some will be put off by some of the unanswered questions, but in the end I loved this story. It's an important story, because it's true. When we refuse to confront the past for so long, we only end up further damaging ourselves in the process.


4 and a half stars