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Daisybutter - Hong Kong Lifestyle and Fashion Blog: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki review

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami. Buy here.
It’s no secret by now that I’m an avid fan of Haruki Murakami. Ever since I picked up ‘Norwegian Wood’ on a whim, I’ve been completely enchanted by his contemporary approach to tale-telling. His writing technique deftly weaves Japanese heritage, culture and history together with an undoubtedly fantasy lead and it’s certainly my favourite way to unwind and word-travel.

‘Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage’ was hot on my list of anticipated books last year. I eagerly picked it up in the summer and even waysided packing to begin reading it – yet it took me around 4 months to complete reading it. Oops. I’m one of those readers who is either completely obsessed or loses interest instantly so, actually, I was pleasantly surprised when I picked this back up, went from page 26 back to the first chapter and managed to read it properly. (PS. Many spoilers ahead because I’m not great at book reviews.)

The story opens with a quiet, Sunday morning atmosphere – calm, serene and unwinding a tale of precision-led moments. A group of five friends, a school grounds setting, a sleepy Japanese neighbourhood. As with many Murakami tomes, education centres the book and as Tsukuru – the central character – moves to University, the group of friends kicks him out. In fact, the ‘Sunday morning’ vibes I got from the start continued to the very end. I think, for me, this novel felt a little too nonsensical and realist-focused for me. And there was no definitive ending! Which is my biggest pet peeve in books, I like knowing that there’s something at the end to gain, ponder or explore.

Unfortunately this is my least favourite Murakami novel to date. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy it, the storyline was emotive and touching but lacked the wonder, adventure and heightened reality that I’m so accustomed to. Tsukuru was written perfectly as a character but ironically he himself lacked character. I guess that’s the concept at the heart of this one though – feeling that you lack colour and subsequently purpose. Of course I’ll still return to Murakami, in fact I’m reading ‘The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’ at the moment and I intensely like that so far!


  1. This post was lovely to read but I'm surprised that there's one of his books that is less enjoyable :s Have not bought this one yet...I imagine I still will but am definitely a little bit less excited about it. You will love 'The Wind Up Bird Chronicle' thought, a really absorbing and evocative read :)
    From one Murakami addict to another...! xxx

  2. I'm reading my first Murakami book at the moment (Dance Dance Dance - unsure if it is part of a series or not but it seems to make sense on its own) and I love it, it's making me want to re-visit Japan so much which is not what my finances need right now! x

  3. Dance Dance Dance is one of my faves!

  4. I liked this book but agree some of his books are a little more mysterious than others, when I finished this book, I wasn't quite sure what happened either but if you've every read some of his short stories - they finish kind of on a tangent too. More questions than answers huh?. I remember when I first got into Murakami. I was hugely into Japanese culture and went into my local library when I was about 18 and asked for their Japanese literature section and Sputnik Sweetheart was my first book and I've been sucked in ever since then! My favourite one is Hard Boiled Wonderland though, it's awesome.

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  6. This is the only one that I'm been slightly let down by but I still really enjoyed it. I've heard lots of positive reviews from other Murakami lovers though so I guess everyone will interpret this one differently!

  7. Oooh that's been on my list for the longest time but I'm having trouble tracking it down. And yesss to wanting to revisit Japan - every single time I pick up a Murakami novel I want to go back.

  8. I adore his short stories! But yeah, this one just felt a little different. Sputnik Sweetheart is SO good. My favourite is still 1Q89 but Hard Boiled comes in pretty close after. I think I read that twice in one summer!


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