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  • Writer's pictureNishant Mittal

9th book of 2019: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

After reading quite a few heavy Non fiction fiction books, I was looking forward to a relatively breezy work of fiction to help me "feel" something. My friend Sarthak said I should read this one, because "it's pretty good!". Well, can you turn down that kind of a sales pitch? Not if it's coming from Sarthak. :)

Norwegian Wood is about life, love, and...a lot of suicides. It's the story of a boy who lives a very average life amidst finding, loving and losing terrific people to, well, a journey called life, filled with something called depression. The story is set in Japan and is written by Haruki Murakami (a Japanese writing god), but it seems to be as "American" as anything. I was glad it paid respect to 'Catcher in the Rye' by referencing it more than once because if it didn't, it'd have been fair for JD Salinger to file a lawsuit. The similarity was hard to ignore.

Despite the lingering sadness, Norwegian Wood is actually a well written happy story, simply because the protagonist doesn't kill himself in the end. Once again, the book felt like Catcher in the Rye, but with much less humour and much more sex.

The only difference is that Catcher in the Rye left me in tears while this one couldn't even make me flinch. I'd like to think it's me growing up. :)

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