A couple months back, a few of us in the Junk Drawer decided to start the first unofficial Blazersedge bookclub. The first book that was read by the bookclub was Last Days by Brian Evenson. The second book, and the one discussed below, was Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. If you read any further in this thread, this book will have been SPOILED for you. You have been warned. But anybody who reads the book is welcome to contribute to the conversation. If you like the idea of taking part in the bookclub's next book discussion, it will be “Matterhorn” by Karl Marlantes. More information to follow. Each person who reads the book should feel free to post what you felt about reading this and what the experience was like for you. If you want to dig deeper, go ahead. I've made a few simple questions that could be used to get people started. If other people have points and questions, just bring them up. Then we can discuss with one another to understand each of our points and see what kind of conversation happens. Thanks go to Idoltime for the original outline of this description, I just changed things as needed.
Many Murakami scholars and fans, including myself, have felt that this book is the most auto-biographical in the author's canon. Murakami is known for his privacy, yet there are many aspects of this novel that feel very real. What stood out to you that felt more human, that felt more like it could have been an auto-biographical piece of the work?
As Watanabe's story unfolds he becomes very close to both Naoko and Midori. How are these women different from one another? In which ways do you find them similar to one another? How would you describe the different kinds of love they offer Watanabe? Why do you think he finally chooses Midori? Has he made the right choice?
Watanabe often speaks about “The Great Gatsby” and how closely he relates to Fitzgerald's novel. Why do you think this is important, and what does it say of Watanabe?
This is going to be a two part-er cause you can only make 5 points in the “lists” fanshot. First, what is the importance of the two central men in Watanabe's life? Stromtrooper(Kamikaze if you managed to snatch the Birnbaum translation) and Nagasawa? How do these characters help define Watanabe, and how do they define themselves(as little definition as there may be). And lastly, many people have agreed that the Jay Rubin translation seems to be lacking and the fairly poor prose takes away from the enjoyment of the novel. How did the prose effect you? Are there any particular instances in which you experienced every translator's nightmare, that moment where you realized, without a doubt, that you were reading a book that had been translated? I'm dropping this post off and then I have to disappear again for a bit, but will pop in as I can to enjoy, and join, the discussion.