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Nolan Garcia
Nolan Garcia

The Benefits and Challenges of Reading Haruki Murakami's Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage in EPUB 20 Format


Haruki Murakami's Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A Review




If you are a fan of Haruki Murakami, you probably know that he is one of the most popular and acclaimed contemporary writers in Japan and around the world. His novels are known for their surrealistic and magical elements, their complex and mysterious plots, their quirky and memorable characters, and their exploration of themes such as loneliness, identity, dreams, music, and cats.




haruki murakami colorless tsukuru tazaki epub 20



One of his latest novels, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, is no exception. It is a captivating and emotional story that follows the journey of a man who tries to overcome a traumatic event from his past that shattered his sense of self and his relationships with others.


In this article, I will give you a brief summary of the novel, an analysis of its strengths and weaknesses, and a personal opinion on whether you should read it or not. I will also provide some background information on the author, Haruki Murakami, his style and influences, his themes and motifs, and the format of the novel, EPUB 20.


Summary




The novel begins with a flashback to Tsukuru Tazaki's high school days in Nagoya. He was part of a close-knit group of five friends who shared everything with each other. They were all named after colors except for Tsukuru, who felt like he was colorless and empty compared to them. The other four were Akamatsu (red pine), Oumi (blue sea), Shirane (white root), and Kurono (black field).


One day, when Tsukuru was in college in Tokyo, he received a phone call from one of his friends, who told him that they didn't want to see him or talk to him ever again. They gave no explanation and cut off all contact with him. Tsukuru was devastated and felt like he had been rejected and erased from their lives. He became depressed and suicidal, and lost interest in everything.


Years later, Tsukuru is a successful engineer who designs train stations. He meets a woman named Sara, who becomes his girlfriend. She notices that he is still haunted by his past and encourages him to find out what happened to his old friends and why they abandoned him. She believes that this will help him heal and move on with his life.


Tsukuru decides to follow her advice and embarks on a pilgrimage to reconnect with his former friends. He travels to Nagoya, Tokyo, Finland, and other places, where he learns the truth about their fate and the reason for their betrayal. He also discovers some secrets about himself and his own identity that he had repressed or forgotten.


The novel ends with a cliffhanger that leaves the reader wondering what will happen next to Tsukuru and Sara, and whether Tsukuru will be able to find peace and happiness.


Analysis




The novel has many strengths and weaknesses that make it a compelling and controversial work of literature. Here are some of them:


Strengths





  • The novel is well-written and engaging. Murakami's prose is simple yet elegant, and his descriptions are vivid and atmospheric. He creates a sense of realism and fantasy that draws the reader into the story and makes them feel like they are part of it.



  • The novel is rich in symbolism and imagery. Murakami uses various elements such as colors, water, dreams, scars, and death to convey deeper meanings and emotions. He also references classical music, especially Franz Liszt's piano suite Années de pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage), which mirrors Tsukuru's journey and mood.



  • The novel is thought-provoking and philosophical. Murakami explores themes such as friendship, betrayal, identity, self-discovery, love, and forgiveness. He raises questions about the nature of human relationships, the role of memory and imagination, the impact of trauma and loss, and the possibility of redemption and healing.



Weaknesses





  • The novel is slow-paced and repetitive. Murakami spends a lot of time on details and dialogues that do not advance the plot or develop the characters. He also repeats some information and scenes that have already been established or shown before.



  • The novel is ambiguous and unresolved. Murakami leaves many questions unanswered and many loose ends untied. He does not provide a clear explanation for some of the events and motives that occur in the story. He also does not give a definitive conclusion for the main conflict and the main characters' fate.



  • The novel is sexist and stereotypical. Murakami portrays women as objects of desire or mystery, who exist only to serve or inspire men. He also relies on clichés and tropes to depict his characters, such as the manic pixie dream girl, the femme fatale, the gay best friend, the wise old man, etc.



Conclusion




In conclusion, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is a novel that has both merits and flaws. It is a captivating and emotional story that deals with themes such as loneliness, identity, dreams, music, and cats. It is also a well-written and symbolic work that references classical music, especially Franz Liszt's piano suite Années de pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage). However, it is also a slow-paced and repetitive work that leaves many questions unanswered and many loose ends untied. It is also a sexist and stereotypical work that portrays women as objects of desire or mystery, who exist only to serve or inspire men.


Personally, I enjoyed reading this novel because I like Murakami's style and imagination. I found the story intriguing and touching, and I related to some of the characters' struggles and feelings. I also appreciated the references to music, which added another layer of meaning and emotion to the story.


The Author: Haruki Murakami




Haruki Murakami is one of the most popular and acclaimed contemporary writers in Japan and around the world. He has written more than 20 novels and dozens of short stories, essays, and non-fiction books. He has also translated many works of American and British literature into Japanese.


Biography




Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949. He grew up in Kobe and Ashiya, where he was exposed to Western culture and music. He studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo, where he met his wife, Yoko. He opened a jazz bar called Peter Cat in Tokyo, where he worked as a manager and owner for seven years.


Murakami began writing at the age of 29, after having a sudden inspiration while watching a baseball game. His first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, was published in 1979 and won a literary prize for new writers. His second novel, Pinball, 1973, was published in 1980. His third novel, A Wild Sheep Chase, was published in 1982 and established him as a major writer in Japan.


Murakami gained international fame with his novel Norwegian Wood, which was published in 1987 and sold millions of copies worldwide. He then moved to Europe and America, where he lived for several years and wrote some of his most acclaimed works, such as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore, and 1Q84.


Murakami has also been involved in various social and political issues, such as the Kobe earthquake of 1995, the Tokyo subway sarin gas attack of 1995, and the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011. He has written about these events and their impact on Japanese society and culture in his books Underground, After the Quake, and What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.


Murakami has received many awards and honors for his works, such as the Yomiuri Literary Prize, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Jerusalem Prize, and the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award. He has also been nominated several times for the Nobel Prize in Literature.


Style and Influences




Murakami's style is distinctive and unique. He combines realism and fantasy, humor and tragedy, mystery and romance, history and culture. He creates surrealistic and magical scenarios that challenge the boundaries of logic and reality. He also uses elements of postmodernism, such as metafiction, intertextuality, parody, and pastiche.


Murakami's influences are diverse and eclectic. He is influenced by Western writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Chandler, J.D. Salinger, Kurt Vonnegut, Franz Kafka, and George Orwell. He is also influenced by Japanese writers such as Natsume Soseki, Junichiro Tanizaki, Yasunari Kawabata, and Kenzaburo Oe. He is also influenced by music, especially jazz, rock, and classical music. He often references songs, albums, artists, and composers in his works.


Themes and Motifs




Murakami's themes and motifs are recurring and consistent. He explores themes such as loneliness, identity, dreams, music, and cats. He uses motifs such as wells, trains, phones, ears, and libraries. Some of his themes and motifs are explained below:



  • Loneliness: Murakami's characters are often isolated, alienated, or disconnected from others. They struggle to find meaning and purpose in their lives. They seek companionship and intimacy but are afraid of commitment and rejection. They sometimes find solace in animals, books, or music.



  • Identity: Murakami's characters are often uncertain or confused about their identity. They have multiple or contradictory selves that they switch or hide depending on the situation. They sometimes lose or forget their identity due to trauma or amnesia. They sometimes discover or create a new identity through self-discovery or self-invention.