KKS Reads: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

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So you all probably noticed but I haven’t been watching a lot of anime lately, or at least not any anime worth mentioning or recommending but it’s not like I’ve just been sitting here picking my nose; I’ve actually been reading books. One book in particular I want to mention is Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami.

Murakami is a pretty big deal in popular Japanese literature considering he always ends up on the top-sellers lists and his works are consistently being translated into loads of different languages. Colorless Tsukuru is a coming-of-age tale about the titular character, Tsukuru, and his coming to terms with his friends abandoning him out of the blue one while back home on break during college. The book tackles themes of self-confidence and the importance of communication. Typical to Murakami’s style, it employs a surreal setting while still maintaining a realistic setting, i.e. he includes supernatural elements into his story without making it feel out of place. The book isn’t plot heavy and instead focuses on the the interactions Tsukuru has with his friends and his perception of himself and (as in everyone case) how lowly he views himself while his people in his life, including his current girlfriend, feel just the opposite.

It’s definitely an easy-to-read novel albeit a little reference heavy as Murakami tends to be (and the ever-present Cutty Sark makes its appearance as well). I don’t typically score things but in this case I’m going to because I don’t recommend a lot of books and you guys might want to know what you’re getting into. I would give it 7 out of 10; it’s an enjoyable read but shortcomings include how character-dependent the story is as in if you don’t like the characters you will not enjoy reading this novel. The imagery is not as extravagant as it is in his other works (like The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles) but I would say in this situation strong imagery is not necessary to the context of the book.

 

Score: 7 outta 10


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