“Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage” by Haruki Murakami (translated to English 2014)
Translated by Philip Gabriel
Audio book narrated by Michael Fenton Stevens
Recently, I read “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” by Murakami and it inspired me to explore his fiction work. By coincidence (or fate, depending on your point of view), “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage” was on sale on audible.com.au so I bought it without reading a blurb or knowing anything about it. The title was certainly appealing and immediately made me think of Paulo Coelho, whose books have brought me pleasure over many years. I have since realised that I have Murakami’s book, 1Q84, waiting to be read on my shelf. It has been there for several years. It is a very big book so has been relegated over and over as it is an unappealing size for bedtime reading. It is now a lot more appealing, given how much I enjoyed this book.
“Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage”, as the title suggests, is the story of Tsukuru Tazaki. He is 36 and reflecting back on the consequences of being ostracized by his friendship group in his first year of college. The journey he takes to make peace with his past is told in an engaging and meaningful way. The narrative is quite lyrical and presents an opportunity to understand Japanese culture and practices in a way I didn’t expect. The characters are interesting and well-developed and I cared deeply for Tsukuru and his future.
My instinct about Murakami’s writing similarities with Coelho were well founded. This is a book I highly recommend.