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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A novel Hardcover – Aug 12 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Knopf (Aug. 12 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385352107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385352109
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 3.3 x 18.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 435 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #386,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Pub Date: 2014-08-12 Pages: 400 Language: English Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing ... The new novel & mdash; a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan & mdash; from the internationally acclaimed author . his first since IQ84..


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By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Nov. 26 2014
Format: Hardcover
We are living in a world that is becoming increasingly foreign to us, what with all of its many social and physical changes. Memories of our past are being swept away before our very eyes as we are being forced to stare into the bleak uncertainty of the future while struggling to come to grips with our ever-fleeting present reality. Such is the predicament facing Murakami's latest existential creation in the person of the bland Japanese civil engineer, Tsukuru Tazaki, a man given to building railway stations: which way to turn. Remember, in a very uniformed Japanese society, suicide is a viable option where honor has been compromised. One day, Tsukuru wakes up to realize that he has truly become an alienated creature in Japanese society. His close circle of friends from his past have all seemingly rejected him for some unknown reason which, in his tightly-knit culture, amounts to the kiss of death. As the story progresses, we find Tsukuru first of all attempting to re-establish that all-important social anchor in his life in the person of Sara, an older woman whose life is cosmopolitan rather than parochial. She will help him gain perspective on his solitary existence as he attempts to regain his confidence in living. It will take a torturous journey or 'pilgrimage' into his past, as he meets with his former friends to discover the true reason for being outed. What he'll learn from these encounters will both help to clarify the mysteries of the past and put him on a more solid footing for the future. A little knowledge about the pains of the past can certainly help steady us as we move into the great unknowns of the future. As a Christian, I have little problem understanding the process through which Murakami takes his reader in the remaking of the individual: devastation, discovery and determination.
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By ronbc TOP 500 REVIEWER on Nov. 13 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is the third Murakami novel that I’ve read, and it may say more about me than him that this book, the one that the critics like least, is the one that I like best. I didn’t care much for 1Q84. I thought that its central “love” story was too slight and too conventional. On the other hand, I really enjoyed Kafka on the Shore, which successfully combined surreal fantasy with a deep understanding of human character.

Colorless has much less surrealism, much less fantasy, but an even deeper investigation of character. The eponymous protagonist struggles, often fitfully, to rise above the fate predicted by his name.

Unlike almost all of the other characters, Tsukuru is, literally, colourless. While the ideograms that express the names of his friends are colours, Tsukuru has no colour. His name means “creator,” or in his case, “builder,” and he is, indeed, an engineer who designs and supervises the building of railroad stations.

The trouble is that he never travels on the trains that visit his stations. At the start of the novel, not only has he never left Japan, he’s never visited even the nearest towns and cities served by “his” trains.

It’s hard to summarize the action of the novel without giving away the book’s central secrets, but that’s ok, because this is a book about thought, about emotion and attitude, much more than it is about story. Indeed, reading the novel all the way to the end reveals just how little the outcomes of the plotlines matter to the author.

Instead, we are drawn deeper and deeper into the interior of Tsukuru, to emotional places that he hasn’t visited in a long time, and to psychological locations that may or may not exist at all.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A master craftsman on display, Murakami is an artist in every sense of the word. Exposing ideas and feelings that the reader is forced to pause and reflect upon while using his skill in creating a story that just carries you along. In my opinion Murakami rates among the very best in authors creating today, he desires the Nobel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not as detailed and entertaining as other titles by the same author, a bit disappointing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Compared to 1Q84, this novel is very naive. It lacked the profound characteristics of the "Fierce Imagination of Haruki Murakami." ("Fierce Imagination…" was title of a great story in the New York Times by which I came to like Haruki Murakami, and after reading his masterpiece 1Q84, I really adored his imagination and great capability of telling an impressing story that remains in you even after several years.)

However, finishing "Colorless…", it seemed to me that someone had tried to copy the style of Murakami.
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The typical Murakami fingerprints are few-and-far between on this one. This is a departure for him in that it's a very linear story told in a straight ahead way. Where Murakami is known for spending pages, sometimes chapters, describing how a park looks at night from a balcony, none of that set-up takes place with Colorless Tsukuru.... Murakami attempts to take us from point A to point B in an efficient manner and let the plot do the work. It works to some extent because the story is about growing up and growing apart - as couched in reality as possible for Murakami - but at the end of it, you're left with little. What's missing is the typical investment Murakami asks of you as he takes his time setting up characters and the world they live in. This approach feels like it would have worked even better with this book, since the main character is rather dull and admits so himself -- spending time teasing out the colour in Tsukuru would worked better than over-indexing on efficient plot.

While nowhere near an 18Q4 or Kafka on the Shore, it's still a good story to read and the book design is great. The plot has some merit because it's relatable, but our protagonist warrants very little sympathy and understanding from the reader.
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