Colorless Tsukuru Tasaki and His Years of Pilgrimage – Haruki Murakami


“Aren’t you afraid of dying?
Not really. I’ve watched lots of good-for-nothing, worthless people die, and if people like that can do it, then I should be able to handle it.” 

It’s nice to begin Bookstravaganza with a novel by one of your favourite authors.  Dorothy began with Vonnegut – I began, late last night, with Murakami.

Many people argue that all Murakami books are the same, that with each new novel it’s more of the same thing – loneliness and walking around in a dream-like state.  But what I argue is who wouldn’t want more of the same – Murakami is like ice cream, it doesn’t get old and it’s still just as delicious as the first taste you had.

I don’t think Colorless Tsukuru Tasaki and his Years of Pilgrimage is Murakami’s strongest book – it was like having chocolate ice cream instead of chocolate fudge cookie dough ice cream.  But it’s still a dreamy, beautifully written novel, and the opinion I hold that Murakami is my religion still stands.

This book came out in August, and contextually, it dealt with subject matter that is especially relevant given recent current events.  Without giving anything away, the book deals with the whole idea of rape culture, including victim blaming versus automatically believing the victim without question.  Murakami brings a different approach to the issue, with a victim rightly claiming rape but falsely accusing someone other than the actual perpetrator due to what is hypothesized as mental instability or trying to break up a previously close group of friends.  But, just like in a dream, you never really figure out all the details in a Murakami novel – characters come and go without explanation, story trails end loosely, and you only really get to see inside the head of the main protagonist.  If any other Bookstravaganzans are planning to read Colorless Tsukuru Tasaki, (I’m looking at you, Rebecca!) I would be curious to discuss your thoughts once you’ve read the book!

Books read: 1


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