Thursday, October 6, 2011

I'm hopeless as a logical thinker

People should confront their irrational fears, whether it's fear of being dragged into deep water by crazy sharks or if it's fear of an author that you've never checked out before but seems like it could be really difficult and all these smart people like him so if you don't like him you're probably wrong or you're missing something. I'm still working on that shark fear thing* but I finally tackled Murakami. And I loved it. What was I so worried about?

Granted I went with what I believe is one of the easier, more linear stories and I picked up Norwegian Wood. At least other bloggers told me it was a good one to start with. I can't say yet, but I do plan on picking up some more Murakami's stuff. So if you have any recommendations, please let me know.

It's sort of a love story but it's not sickeningly romantic. It deals with a lot of suicide and death, and loss but it's not melodramatic or heart-string-tugging. There's a love triangle but you don't spend the whole time going "of course the main character is going to pick person A because the other person is a major douche face and the fact that douche face is even a consideration makes me hate the main character". The characters are wonderful and vulnerable and I loved reading about them. I don't think this is going to be a very effective review to convince those to read it who haven't before. I'm not sure what to say because all I want to do is gush about 2 of the characters and the gushing will really only make sense if you already know the characters. So for those of you that know the book, enjoy. For those that don't, you should read it. And then come back and read this.

1. I love Midori. I loved her. Even when she was being a bit of a bitch I still loved her. I read this on my Kindle so I marked down a bunch of quotes I liked and most of them were from her. She's outgoing and direct and kind of ridiculous and just wonderful. It would have been easy to make her annoying and obnoxious and unfeeling but Murakami is better than that.

2. I love Reiko too. Probably because she reminds me of Midori only it's a Midori you could go to for advice. And she plays the guitar. A musical Midori. OK, I guess it's unfair to only think of her as a version of another character but she's another very strong, outgoing and direct character. Plus I was completely drawn into her story within the larger story.

So to sum up: I got over my fear of reading Murakami and plan on checking out more of his stuff, but I'm still irrationally afraid of sharks. I love Midori and Reiko and would rather gush about them than write a useful review. You should read this book.

I'm actually listening to the song "Norwegian Wood" while writing this. I didn't plan it that way but I was Googling the book so I could make sure I was spelling Murakami correctly and the first link that popped up was a YouTube clip for the song. I probably would have ignored it but the top comment was "This song gives me wood" and I started giggling because I'm immature, so I decided to listen.

*No, seriously, I have this major problem with deep water and stuff living in there. I know logically it's a stupid fear and I loved sharks when I was little so I don't know where this fear came from. I do know it's enough that I have trouble completing water levels in video games. Damn you, giant metal whale from Banjo Kazooie.

Title quote from location 1411

Murakami, Haruki. Norwegian Wood. Random House, 1987. Kindle Edition.