Norwegian Wood Group Read: General Thread

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Norwegian Wood Group Read: General Thread

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Abr 16, 2010, 5:47 pm

Welcome everyone! This will be a Group Read of Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. It will begin Saturday May 1st. The book is about 300 pages, so I'll probably set it up for around a 100 pages a week for 3 weeks. And yes, there will be a "spoiler" thread for each week!
Hope you have your copy ready, if not, you still have 2 weeks!

Abr 16, 2010, 6:36 pm

I'll post a link to this thread on the group page with the other group reads.

Abr 16, 2010, 7:32 pm

Woo hoo! Isn't it good....

Abr 17, 2010, 12:29 am

I have to locate my copy. I know I bought it, just no idea where I put it.

Abr 17, 2010, 1:26 am

I have my book ready to go! :)

Abr 17, 2010, 1:33 am

#5: Show off :)

Abr 17, 2010, 12:34 pm

I bought a copy of it last week (I think I gave my original book away).

I once had a girl...

Abr 17, 2010, 12:52 pm

Argh... I think i have a copy of this - and I'm so tempted. I swore I was going to pass on the next few group reads though... oh what the heck, where is that darn thing...

Abr 17, 2010, 3:27 pm

I'm with you, Mark!

Abr 17, 2010, 4:48 pm

Ah, another Murakami, I will try to join in, the time frame sounds workable.

Editado: Maio 1, 2010, 3:03 pm

I wasn't going to do this one, but had a major brain-fart and ordered the book anyway so count me in. See you all on the 1st.
God bless.

Abr 18, 2010, 6:36 am

My copy is waiting patiently on my shelf.

Abr 18, 2010, 11:49 pm

I think I know where my copy is! (I *hope* I know where my copy is!) Looking forward to reading it, and hoping I find time to jump in here for the discussion. (Oooh, my first 75 Books Challenge group read!)

Abr 20, 2010, 4:54 am

I found my copy! I found my copy! *happy dance going on at Stasia's house*

Abr 20, 2010, 6:46 am

Stasia- Love the Happy Dance! Glad to see so many joining us!
Wookie- Did you find it?

Abr 20, 2010, 9:36 pm

I wish this was available as en ebook. Sounds like a good read.

Abr 21, 2010, 1:23 am

#15> I haven't even thought to look yet! I'm rejigging Mt TBR into bookshelves (ooh! I can see all the titles!) and I'm pretty sure I last saw Norwegian Wood in the TBR Isthmus heading under the bedside table. It's been tectonically stable for a while, so I'm sure it's still under there. (Unless a cat ate it.)

Abr 21, 2010, 7:47 am

#14 Reminds me, did you read Dance Dance Dance?

Abr 21, 2010, 8:00 am

#18: Not yet. I do not have a copy of it and neither does my public library unfortunately.

Abr 21, 2010, 5:44 pm

>pethair- Have you tried the library? We would love to have you!

Abr 21, 2010, 6:51 pm

Count me in!

Abr 23, 2010, 7:25 am

I've got a copy in transit to my local branch, so I'll have it picked up soon. I'm looking forward to this.

Editado: Abr 25, 2010, 9:26 am

We will begin on Saturday! I'll post the weekly threads very soon. My love of Murakami started with Kafka on the Shore, back in the Spring of 2007. What a wonderful, magical book! I then read After Dark & After the Quake, both very good story collections and then listened to his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I also have several more of his novels in my various tbr piles.
Would anyone else like to share their Murakami history?

Abr 25, 2010, 9:38 am

I just read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle along with Stasia earlier this year. My daughter had been trying to get me to give Murakami a try.

Abr 25, 2010, 9:54 am

I discovered Murakami through LT. I have read What I talk about when I talk about running, After Dark, Kafka on the Shore, and The Wind Up Bird Chronicle to date.

Abr 25, 2010, 11:08 am

My first Murakami was The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle; I read it in 2000 or 2001, and was completely blown away by it. After that I became hooked, and read, in rapid succession, Norwegian Wood, South of the Border, West of the Sun, A Wild Sheep Chase, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche. His newer books, especially Kafka on the Shore and Sputnik Sweetheart, haven't had the same impact on me as his earlier books; I'm not sure if it's because I liked his earlier books, or because I've changed as a reader. I'm very eager to go back to Norwegian Wood, to see if it has a similar impact on me as it did when I first read it.

Abr 25, 2010, 1:21 pm

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle will be my next Murakami. I just landed a copy of Hard-Boiled Wonderland but I don't have any of his other early books. I will have to remedy that! I think I have Underground too!

Abr 25, 2010, 1:27 pm

This is the link for Week One: here
It will be for chapters 1 through 5.

Abr 26, 2010, 10:32 pm

I may be a bit late in starting (story of my life when it comes to group reads!) as I've got to read "The Children's Book" for my book group first, and it's a chunkster. (Looking forward to it, though.) And I think I have a library book or two due back soon too that I really wanted to read! Oh dear. Will hop in when I can.

My first Murakami read was The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I'm not sure what brought it to my attention, but I do remember a friend with shining eyes telling me that it was her favourite Murakami, but I'm not sure if that was *before* I started it (so that's why I chose that particular book), or after I read it (and she could chat about it with me). It might have also grabbed my attention being on the "1001" list. I know my local bookshop were in a happy tizzy when Kafka on the Shore came out, so maybe I caught the buzz but decided to start with an earlier book.

Nowadays, I write reviews so I can remind myself of all this detail. :)

Anyhow, I loved The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and have also read his Kafka on the Shore, Sputnik Sweetheart, Dance, Dance, Dance, and Underground, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed as well. And now I get to read Norwegian Wood, which has been languishing in Mt TBR purgatory for too long.

I have found my copy (propping up one side of the TBR Isthmus under the bedside table, as predicted), dusted it off and put it on top of Mt TBR. It will be started asap.

Abr 27, 2010, 1:43 am

Oooh, I might just have to go pick this up! I really enjoyed After Dark and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, so I'm eager to read more of his work. Here's looking forward to some awesome discussions!

Abr 27, 2010, 12:58 pm

My first Murakami was Kafka on the Shore and I loved it. Take a look at the following web site for some insight into Murakami and his work.

It is a wonderful innovative site and has great lists. One thing you will discover that in all of Murakami's work music is very important, as are some other symbolic things. But the music lists on this web site are very detailed and helpful.

Abr 27, 2010, 1:05 pm

I have a wonderful story about Murakami and coffee shops but it is rather long and I am not sure how appropriate it is for this forum. It suffices to say that Murakami books and coffee shops go together like bread and butter. I have had several impromptu talks with other readers while reading Murakami in a coffee shop.

I love the covers of his books. They are worthy of study for their own art work. They are so distinctive and bright. They garner lots of comment whenever I lay the books down where people can see them.

Abr 27, 2010, 1:07 pm

Turns out my copy of this is in a box somewhere that is not in my house... may be able to get the library copy in time, may have to miss this one.

I hate having no room. Sigh.

Abr 27, 2010, 1:33 pm

>31 benitastrnad:: Thank you so much for posting the link to the Murakami site. I was mesmerized by the background music, the creative book covers, and the description of Norwegian Wood. I bought this book on faith and faith alone. I seem to be the only newbie to Murakami, but I make up for my ignorance with my enthusiasm. I've been humming the song ever since Mark posted this thread!

Abr 27, 2010, 5:48 pm

Benita- Thanks for posting the Murakami link! That's an excellent web site! I do remember that he ran a jazz club for a few years and has a strong passion for music!

Bekka- Find that copy! Come on! We're rooting for you!

Donna- Glad to see you are taking a faithful plunge with us! Hope it's deep and soothing!

Abr 27, 2010, 6:34 pm

The fact that the Murakami web site is sponsored by the publisher may be the reason why it is so slickly produced. If you have read more than one of Murakami's books you can find all sorts of Murakami motifs in the web site. For me it is almost like looking at a "Where's Waldo" book because I keep seeing more things from his books every time I look at the web site. I strongly suspect that this site was produced by somebody who had read the books or was subjected to strict scrutiny by the author, his publicist, or the publisher. It wasn't until my lunch time today that I noticed that in the back of the copy of Norwegian Wood that I am reading, there was an explanation of the translation of this book. In that it said that Murakami was extremely uncomfortable with his celebrity status in Japan and as a result was very careful with the translating of his books. The edition I am reading is the only authorized translation of this work in English. My guess is that Murakami won't tolerate sloppy work, even if it is a web site.

For many years Murakami owned and ran a jazz club in Tokyo. I find the references to the musical works in all his books fascinating. It is so detailed. Right down to the page numbers on which the work is mentioned.

Abr 27, 2010, 6:39 pm

I noticed all the music references in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I am getting excited about reading this one!

Abr 28, 2010, 3:25 am

#35 *Wails* but there are ten big boxes of books packed into a barn's attic (I'm so worried about my precious babies) ... there's no way I can get to it at the moment!

I'll go nag the library - whoever's got it is overdue anyway.

One thing did make me laugh - they have two copies (both out grrr) and one is filed in non fiction under wood polishes... I think this may be an error somehow!

Abr 28, 2010, 5:54 am

"One is filed in non fiction under wood polishes . . ."

That made me laugh!

Abr 28, 2010, 6:12 am

I'd like to join as well, just ordered my copy with amazon UK. It won't arrive in time here in Italy, but I'm sure I'll catch up. I loved Kafka on the Shore and I need to read more Murakami.

Too bad that I am never able to order just one book (I know that the fixed delivery fee is a lame excuse to order more). My tbr pile will reach new heights...

Abr 30, 2010, 8:50 am

Stopping in to boost you onto my thread list... Got my clean shiny copy at the ready!

Maio 1, 2010, 6:22 am

In case anyone missed it, here's the link to Week One: here

Maio 1, 2010, 3:06 pm

I have almost completed Camus's The Plague and then I am all over it with you.
Thanx Mark!

Maio 4, 2010, 11:24 am

Just tracked my order on amazon - my copy has been 'in transit' now since April 29th. New ash cloud maybe? I hope I'll get it tomorrow.

Maio 4, 2010, 8:07 pm

Belva- We are waiting for you, my friend!

Deern- It's a pretty fast read! You should catch up with no problem. I'm less than 80 pages in.

Maio 5, 2010, 11:11 am

Just got it!!
Starting tonight. :-)

Maio 9, 2010, 3:00 pm

Hey Mark;
How's everything? Hopin' everyone is good.

I didn't see a final thread for Norwegian Wood so I will just leave a very few words here. I tried to remain within the reading plan, but just couldn't do it. And as I don't want to "mis-place" any spoilers; let me just say that for someone who didn't want to read this book; (& only did because I accidentally ordered it) that I loved it!~!
My very first Murakami, but surely not my last. Breathtaking beautiful, heartrendingly sad; it took my very breath away.
Thank you so much Mark for one of my best reads of the year.
hugs all round,

Editado: Maio 9, 2010, 3:41 pm

Happy Mother's Day Belva! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book!
Here's the thread to Week 1: here
Week 2: here
I'll make up Week 3 shortly!

Maio 22, 2010, 2:29 pm

I thought the general discussion thread might be the best place to ask this.

Norwegian Wood was my first Murakami and I really enjoyed it. I'd like to read more of his books, does anyone have any recommendations for which one I should try next? From people's comments on the discussion threads it seems like Norwegian Wood is not always like his other books, but I'd like to try them anyway!

Maio 24, 2010, 3:40 am

The only other one I have read is Wind up Bird Chronicle - it's brilliant. Much more dense that this one (I think anyway) but a really interesting and compelling read.

Maio 24, 2010, 5:06 pm

#50 Thanks Bekka - I've heard lots about the Wind up Bird Chronicle so I will see if the library has a copy.

Maio 24, 2010, 6:26 pm

I read Kafka on the Shore and loved it. It is very different than Norwegian Wood. Norwegian Wood is much more personal. Kafka has a great mystery and reminded me of cloud Atlas by David Mitchell without the apocalypse. The style was much the same. I loved the surrealism of Kafka and the reappearance of many Murakami motifs. If you like mysteries with lots of twists and turns this book could be your next Murakami.

Maio 29, 2010, 5:49 am

#52 Great, thanks! I enjoy mysteries so perhaps I will make Kafka on the Shore my next Murakami, or The Wind Up Bird Chronicle - decisions, decisions.

Ago 2, 2010, 12:44 pm

As a music lover, I also enjoy the many references Murakami Haruki makes in his works. I somehow did not get much enjoyment from reading Norwegian Wood, however. I know it is one of his most widely read books and very well liked by the general reading public, but I much more enjoyed Kafka on the Shore, After Dark, The Windup Bird Chronicle, and The Elephant Vanishes. In an effort to see whether there was something I missed in NW, I am attempting to read it again . . .

Ago 2, 2010, 1:11 pm

#54: I found Norwegian Wood to be quite different from the others of Murakami's works that I had read too, although I still enjoyed it.