I came across Murakami’s writing through 1Q84, his iconic alternative universe exploration of Tengo and Aomame. In all honesty, I “discovered” it through Audible.com for one reason: it was many hours in length and, for one credit, really good value!
And then I got swept up in this strange unsettling and unsettled narrative. It was like stepping into someone else’s dream! Familiar yet alien; recognisable yet surreal.
And, thanks to Aomame’s description of her name and the differences between Aomame and Edamame, I seem to remember getting a University Challenge question right.
So any way, after picking up Norweigan Wood , The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka On The Shore, Murakami has become one of those writers for whom a new novel is an event. There are a few novelists that have this effect: China Miéville, Hilary Mantel, Neil Gaiman….
So my picking up the wonderfully entitled Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years Of Pilgrimage was always going to be exciting.
It’s perhaps 30 years since I had stickers inside the front cover of a book!
This must rank alongside such classics as Dress-Up Barbie and Design A Dinosaur World!
The blurb to this book reads as follows:
Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance, all their names contained a color. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning ‘red pine’, and Oumi, ‘blue sea’, while the girls’ names were Shirane, ‘white root’, and Kurono, ‘black field’ Tazaki was the only last name with no color in it.
One day Tsukuru Tazaki’s friends announced that they didn’t want to see him, or talk to him, ever again.
Since that day Tsukuru has been floating through life, unable to form intimate connections with anyone. But then he meets Sara, who tells him that the time has come to find out what happened all those years ago.
There’s an obvious geographical connection with Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale For The Time Being but there also seems to be a thematic parallel: the drifting, loneliness, a drift towards suicide.
Anyway, I’m going to stop gabbling now, bring that delicious sensual moment of teasing before I begin the book to an end.