Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years Of Pilgrimage

Hardcover | August 12, 2014

byHaruki Murakami

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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage marks a new direction in Murakami's fiction: a return to the lyrical realism not seen since his 1987 novel Norwegian Wood, but set against the social realities of contemporary Japan.
     Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage centers on a devastating emotional betrayal and its consequences. Tsukuru Tazaki belongs to a tight-knit group of five friends in high school--three boys and two girls who form a perfect circle they imagine will stay together forever. But when Tsukuru returns home from college in Tokyo, he finds himself inexplicably rebuffed by the group. Something has changed, but nobody, not even his closest friends, will tell him what.
     Years later, Tsukuru, now a successful engineer, begins dating an older woman named Sara and confesses to her the shadow this betrayal has cast over his life. Sara urges Tsukuru to try to find his old group and to try to solve the mystery that has haunted him all these years: why did they suddenly turn on him?
     On a quest to discover the truth, Tsukuru travels back to meet his old friends--with the exception of Shiro, the group's most volatile and psychologically unstable member, who he learns was strangled to death in an unsolved murder six years ago. As the dark truth about Shiro reveals itself, Tsukuru must confront the simmering emotional undercurrents that the group had suppressed in order to reach their ideal of perfect friendship.
     Can love overcome isolation? Is it possible to truly reach another person? Can buried emotions ever really stay buried? And will confronting the past allow Tsukuru to finally open himself up to the future?

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From the Publisher

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage marks a new direction in Murakami's fiction: a return to the lyrical realism not seen since his 1987 novel Norwegian Wood, but set against the social realities of contemporary Japan.      Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage centers on a devastating emotional betrayal...

HARUKI MURAKAMI was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. His work has been translated into more than forty languages, and the most recent of his many international honors is the Jerusalem Prize, whose previous recipients include J.M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, and V.S. Naipaul.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 7.36 × 5.2 × 1.42 inPublished:August 12, 2014Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385681836

ISBN - 13:9780385681834

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Customer Reviews of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years Of Pilgrimage

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Read I personally liked this novel. It didn't really feel like a Murakami novel but it definitely still is a good story revolving around a man seeking closure from his past trauma with his childhood friends. It's straightforward and very easy to find yourself not putting the book down as it is interesting and makes you want to see things through to the end. You as the reader will probably feel the same desperation as Tsukuru Tazaki in that you both want to find out the answer to everything and you feel like you can't get there fast enough.
Date published: 2016-12-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not my favourite Murakami work, but still a stunning An easy-to-read story of losing one's identity and starting anew. I believe those in a period of transition will enjoy and relate to the themes presented.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An excellent Murakami Work Beautiful in its simplicity and intrigue
Date published: 2016-11-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good, but minor Murakami work Great start with intrigue and something of a mystery to be solved. Questions are raised, but the answers are ultimately unsatisfying. A competent work, but not up to the usual quality of Haruki Murakami.
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another Murakami Favourite A very enjoyable read-- I was so happy when I heard that Murakami was going to release a new novel in 2015, and I'm so glad I was able to read it when it was released.
Date published: 2016-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy and lovely read Bought it because Murakami is one of my fav author. Super easy read, very enjoyable. Finished it over a weekend, I still want more.
Date published: 2015-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exquisite Just read it. Japanese literature, in my experience, is stunning in its simplicity. Highly readable and engrossing, I finished this in one day.
Date published: 2015-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Norweigan Wood-like, which makes it immensely good A 30-something Tsukuru Tazaki begins a pilgrimage to discover why his four best friends from high school announced during his first year at university that they no longer wanted him part of their lives. Tsukuru finally decides to unravel the highly emotional mystery because of his desire to have an intimate, connected relationship with Sara, whom he’s just begun to date.
Date published: 2014-11-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Just finished, so hard to summarize my feelings about this melancholic, affecting book.
Date published: 2014-08-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Colourful in its simplicity My love for Murakami is still strong as ever with "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage." Whether you're sick of it or not, Murakami does his schtick very well. He captures, with simple words, what it is to be lonely and forgotten, to lose oneself's identity and purpose, and then to get that glimmer of hope that might just pull one out of the deep dark abyss of mediocrity. The ones of Murakami's works that stand out to me are the grounded ones with a mostly basic plot that imparts just as much wisdom as that trademark atmospheric heaviness. "Norwegian Wood" and "South of the Border, West of the Sun" were like that, and so is "Colorless." Tsukuru is abandoned by his colourful friends and he carries this burdended feeling through the years till he meets someone who pushes him to uncover the truth in order to be freed of this weight. And so he does, reconnecting with the people of yesteryear and discovering more of how he is perceived by others rather than what he thinks he is perceived as. The title and cover design when revealed made me scratch my head but I now see how it all ties together. Read Murakami and decide on your own if his style is for you. "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage" would be a good one to be introduced to the author because of how straightforward it is without losing sense of who Murakami is - a masterful storyteller who is familiarly profound with his intent and imagery.
Date published: 2014-07-23

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Editorial Reviews

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2014A New York Times Notable BookA Guardian Best Book of the YearA New York Times BestsellerNominated for the Independent Foreign Fiction PrizeNominated for the International Dublin Literary AwardNational Bestseller  "Hardly a soul writes of the listening and playing of music with such insight and tenderness. . . . There are moments of epiphany gracefully expressed, especially in regard to how people affect one another. . . . The book reveals another side of Murakami, one not so easy to pin down. Incurably restive, ambiguous and valiantly struggling toward a new level of maturation. A shedding of Murakami skin." —Patti Smith, The New York Times Book Review“The new book . . . added to my appreciation of Murakami’s writing.” ―Huffington Post (UK)"This is a terrific novel, in which the author’s clinical tone—colorless, if you will—works to the strengths of the book, chronicling a young man sorting through old friends and old mistakes, the hopes of finally feeling his life take hold. Though the structure is nearly episodic, and the hero's adventures are a familiar mix of the comic, the horrific and the just plain odd, the book has a clear and melancholy thread: Life is bewildering, and we must choose to cherish and to ignore the incidents that we decide fit best, or not at all, in our ideas of ourselves, like plucking out a tune on the piano." ―Daniel Handler, The New York Times Book Review“A tender, wistful, intermittently mystical group portrait of youthful love and loss.” —The Independent (UK)“The book enacts the slow awakening of colorless Tsukuru to full-blooded life by moving gradually from deliberately flat diction to lush arpeggios of similes.” —The New Yorker“Over a long and varied career, [Murakami] has crafted a strange and unique narrative style at once realistic and fantastic. . . . Happily, Tsukuru’s unpredictable progression of events is underpinned by one of Murakami’s most spare and moving stories. . . . Murakami’s dreamlike, illogical sense of reality has always been one of his greatest strengths; focusing his talents on this simple but suggestive tale, he delivers a powerful emotional payoff.” —The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo) “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki clearly delights. . . . It’s worth the read.” —The Times (UK) “[Murakami’s] work defies most of the usual categories. Beneath a cool, calm surface of prose as plain as Hemingway’s, there are so many things going on. . . . [He has] a brilliant gift for storytelling and a strangely hypnotic power.” —The Sunday Times (UK)“The great theme of his novels is how we spend our lives circling back toward the intensities of adolescent emotion. . . . His instinct is always to push back toward what things used to mean; his virtuosity is in tracing the nuances of the impossibility of that return. Tsukuru's pilgrimage will never end, because he is moving constantly away from his destination, which is his old self. This is a narrow poignancy, but a powerful one, and Murakami is its master. Perhaps that's why he has come to speak . . . for so many of us who love art— since it's only there, alas, in novels such as this one, that we're allowed to live twice.” —Chicago Tribune“Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage is a stirring novel of loss and conciliation, of unanswerable mysteries, fragile hope. There are passages of considerable beauty and insight, and moments of magic and a sense of the sublime which we have come to expect from Murakami.” —National Post“How does he do it? His sentences are as unfussy as Finnish furniture. His plots do not require much joinery. His characters are vividly grained, but often mysteriously so. Yet within a paragraph, Haruki Murakami’s novels cast a hypnotic spell. . . .  Colorless Tsukuru spins a weave of such vivid images around a great mystery.” —Boston Globe“I . . . love this tendency of Murakami to focus as much on the mundane as the mystical. I sink into his books when I read, enjoying the familiarity and even intimacy with the main character. . . . I don’t think I have ever heard loneliness described so honestly and accurately. If any theme is universal, surely this must be one.” —The Independent (UK) “Murakami has specialized in his unique detailing of contemporary alienation. His novels excel at navigating between reality and its variations—free-associative dreams, historical interpretation, psychological memory and philosophical imagination. . . . Relationships past and present interweave seamlessly in Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki, a testament to Murakami’s mastery with the ever-shifting present.” —Toronto Star “Haruki Murakami's Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is a thing of beauty. . . . The indelible sadness of Murakami's story, which pulses with a strange melancholy . . . will resonate after the book's beautiful cover is closed.” —Winnipeg Free Press“Skirting the edges of magic realism, Mr. Murakami deftly weaves together past and present… human metaphysics beautifully distilled. So too is the author's hold over his readers as we urge Tsukuru on. It is through the liberation of love that he may find his place in the world. Tsukuru's—and our—relief when he finally submits to desire, to the messy multiplicity of life, is palpable.” —The Wall Street JournalThis is a book for both the new and experienced reader. It has a strange casualness, as if it unfolded as Murakami wrote it... The book reveals another side of Murakami, one not so easy to pin down. Incurably restive, ambiguous and valiantly struggling toward a new level of maturation. —Patti Smith, The New York Times Murakami is a Japanese writer but he is also a “global” one, meaning that his works are best read not as expressions of Japanese culture, but as examinations of questions that concern all humanity. What is the nature of the individual self? What is the meaning of “happiness,” or “success,” in the global age? What is the soul, and how do we get one? ...These are just a few of the many issues Murakami addresses, and they affect us all. —Publisher’s Weekly“Another tour de force from Japan’s greatest living novelist. . . . Murakami writes with the same murky sense of time that characterized 1Q84, but this book, short and haunting, is really of a piece with older work such as Norwegian Wood and, yes, Kafka on the Shore.” —Kirkus, starred review“A vintage Murakami struggle of coming to terms with buried emotions and missed opportunities, in which intentions and pent up desires can seemingly transcend time and space to bring both solace and desolation.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review“Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is one of [Murakami’s] most coherent and, in its tight and tidy way, one of the most satisfying. Those who miss the goat-heads and the demons and the parallel worlds in which anything can happen shouldn’t worry. There’s enough unresolved human mystery in this novel to suggest that they’ll be back.” —The Financial Times “This book still gives readers all the mythic proportions and trademark elements of Murakami's earlier writing. It brims with tantalizing possibilities: a supernatural tale-within-a-tale, a crossroads deal with a demon, biological oddities, vanishing people, erotic and violent dreams that reach into reality, and even a tragic and eerie murder mystery.” — SFGate (Review)“All the author's signature flourishes are here, including a significant piece of music… an impressive range of cultural reference… and a deep interest in sex.” —The Guardian (review)“One of the can’t-miss books of the summer.” —The Toronto Star  “Murakami consistently delivers plausible weirdness.”—Maclean’s  “I read Colorless Tsukuru as I have read all Murakami's previous books… voraciously while, simultaneously not wanting it to end.” —The Observer (US)“I will simply say that “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki” is about agonizing adolescent experiences that forever scar the soul. It is a deeply affecting novel, not only for the dark nooks and crannies it explores, but for the magic that seeps into its characters’ subconsciouses, for the lengths to which they will go to protect or damage one another, for the brilliant characterizations it delivers along the way.” —The Washington Post“Murakami is one of those rare novelists who can turn our ordinary lives… into something wondrous.” —Newsweek “Murakami regards his characters with a level of compassion that borders on the godlike, producing a moving and heartfelt sense of people essentially trying to do their best... This is a rich and even brilliant piece of work that pulls off the tricky feat of being genuinely resonant and satisfying, while still keeping some of its secrets hanging tantalisingly out of reach.” —The Spectator (UK)“The simplicity and depth of Murakami's work give it its irresistible quality… In this book, Murakami provides a dose of his brand of originality, made up of sex, music, ghosts, auras, alienation, and a yearning for connection… The novel feels like a riddle, a puzzle, or maybe, actually, more like a haiku: full of beauty, strangeness, and color, thousands of syllables long.” —Meg Wolitzer, NPR Books