Reviews of Norwegian Wood (1987)
Review by clong (2006-05-21)
Norwegian Wood is a sort of period romance set in the wild and turbulent late 60s university campuses of Tokyo. The book left me a little disappointed, partly due to its slow pacing and partly due to the characters (which, while interesting, never felt particularly believable). Attitudes about sex and relationships seemed particularly bizarre (some of this may well be due to cultural or generational differences). Suicide is a recurring plot element, so don't turn to this if you're looking to be cheered up.
This is a book where the ups and downs of life happens to the protagonist, and he feels little ability to change the world about him.
I liked the use of symbolism, the use of music in the story, and the occasional touches of humor. The ending was pretty strong, and helped redeem what would otherwise have been a lower rating.