This months Book Club book was a book by Haruki Murakami called The Colorless Tsukuru and his Years of Pilgrimage. Murakami has a bit of a cult following. This however was my first book that I’ve read of his. He is known for his style of magical realism. I definitely enjoy the genre of magical realism. I find it very interesting and compelling. Come to find out that this is his book with the least amount magical realism. That did not stop it from being an excellent book. All of us really enjoyed the book despite having a few issues with the ending and such.
The food was delicious as always, we enjoyed some delicious sushi and sake provided by Rachel. I have never had Sake before and it was quite delicious. Sweeter than I thought it would be, but quite enjoyable. Rachel also gave us edamame in the pods, that-despite my difficulties- were fun to eat. Rachel also made us Banana Tempura that was simply marvelous. They were covered in Tempura batter and then deep fried. It was a fun sweet treat to end a fantastic meal.
If you haven’t read the book, I would highly recommend it. I would rate this a 8.5/10.
The book follows the protagonist Tsukuru on a revelation about himself and his life. This is one of those books where nothing significant or spectacular happens, but I still really enjoyed it. Which is odd because I normally don’t enjoy these books. I think its all my years of reading Sci Fi and Fantasy, where things are literally happening all the time, that has conditioned me to not enjoy books where not a lot happens. In Colorless the writing of Murakami really shone through and I was quite taken in by his writing style. He has this way of making me care about the mundane somewhat non consequential life events of characters I wasn’t particularly invested in. Then when he does sprinkle the magical elements to his story it was very gripping and satisfying with just a touch of whimsy.
The qualms a most of us had about the book were that, he introduced these magical stories into the story of Tsukuru, but then never went back. I don’t need a neat and tidy bow on every single plot line in a book, but when you introduce something tantalizing you have to at least give the reader a little more. They were almost like half stories.
Another unsatisfying thing is the way he leaves the reader to wonder about his love interest. The whole catalyst for Tsukuru’s actions come from his “girlfriend” who pushes him to reach out to his high school friends who abandon him 15-20 years ago (he is in his late 30s). She pushes him to go connect with all of his ex-friends to find out why they abandon him. This takes Tsukuru back to his hometown which he doesn’t get to visit much and to Sweden on a small vacation. Sarah (the love interest) says that he needs to resolve these things before they can truly be together. Then later on in the book he sees her with another man, leading us to believe she is having an affair. The kicker is they never resolve their relationship. Tsukuru basically comes back and is like, I’m ready to be with you and I want to know if that is what you want. Sarah tells Tsukuru that she needs exactly three days to give him his answer. In those intervening three days the book ends. So we never get to find out what happened.
Overall Murakami’s writing is phenomenal and makes me really want to pick up more of his work, after I finish reading through my bookshelf of course.
This was also the last book club of the year which means another bookmark for the Read or Die book club. Check it out below and see all the books we’ve read this year.
Have you read this or any other Murakami books? Let me know in the comments. If you would like to follow along our January book club book is The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.