So I finally finished Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki By Haruki Murakami last night. It took me a couple of weeks to wrap it up largely because I was reading three review books around it, two of which were absolute monsters in size.
Basically, here’s the premise of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: Tsukuru Tazaki’s four high school best friends dump him a year after they all start college, the loss devastates him, and then he spends the next decade living a fairly hollow and lonely existence, at least until his girlfriend, Sara, encourages him to confront his friends and find out why they told him to hit the bricks. Which he does, and this, basically, is the entire novel.
Seriously, if I mention any greater detail, I’ll spoil the entire book.
I won’t say I hated Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki. In fact, I found it very calming and meditative. But—and here’s my biggest beef with the novel— nothing really happens. Once Tazaki discovers why his friends ditched him all those years ago, the novel is pretty much done, and the big reveal happens midway through the book, so for almost 200 pages, you basically have Tazaki complaining about what a boring and awful person he thinks he is. (By the way, he’s not. He’s boring like the rest of us are boring.) There’s no real emotional pay off, either. Life simply moves on and Tsukuru Tazaki keeps being Tsukuru Tazaki.
If you’ve never read Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is not going to be the best place for you to start off. In fact, despite the hoopla surrounding the release of the novel in both Japan and the United States, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is very much a minor novel in an otherwise impressive canon of great novels.
Alright, so next up in my tour of Murakami is After Dark, which is already starting out pretty strongly.