College students can identify with story, characters of Norwegian Wood

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By Britny Doane, Reporter

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami (his book of success) is a realistic fictional story based on the life of a college student, who reminisces about his life in the 1960’s.
Readers are transported from the famous Beatles song to the single person perspective world of the narrator, Toru Watanabe.
The book begins with Toru having a hard time writing about his most intense memories.
At the time, Watanabe developed strong relationships with two women whose personalities are mirror images of one another.
Naoko is gorgeous, yet very troubled, while Midori is outgoing and lively.
It is a very beautiful and memorable story that can identify with the lives of college readers and anyone.
Murakami, being a Japanese writer, is the master at American classical and contemporary literature.
Patience seems to be the main theme as Watanabe waits for a woman to return his love, but patience is also the key to reading this book.
Although not a complex read, to fully understand and feel the world of the book, the reader must be engaged and take it slow.
There is so much detail and the life of the 1960’s is fully conveyed in every word on every page.
Unlike most other Murakami books, Norwegian Wood lacks the supernatural elements while the more practical and real life aspects overcome the tone of the novel.
The characters are amazingly well defined and realistic to a point that readers can relate to every character and relate every character to someone close they know.
They battle tragedy, have romantic inspirations and rejections, struggle with depression, and are flawed just like every human being.
Many of the pages are filled with deep sadness, being based mostly during the wintertime, and other pages filled with hope.
Watanabe experiences death and has to cope with his emotions while still pursuing one of the lovers and achieving his goals through college.
Murakami really shows you the complexities of mental illness, suicide, and just the struggle of every day characters to get past the tragedies in their lives and find happiness with each other.  
Toru is sort of a blank canvas – he has issues but really he reflects all the passions and worries of the people around him.  
His friends are strange and interesting while he seems to go through life as a passive observer.
This book was revolutionary for both Japanese and American writing and culture.
Murakami is successful in creating a unique atmosphere while conveying the hidden message in the book.
All of Murakami’s novels are very popular because they guide readers through some of life’s darkest, most dangerous, and tragic times.
Norwegian Wood brings readers on this same journey.
Watanabe is given the chance to live a real life full of many opportunities.

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