Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Late last night, I finished reading Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami. It was my first time reading by the famous author. I always wanted to read Haruki Murakami but didn’t know where to start. I saw this book at the library near where my mother lives in Las Vegas and decided, “You know what? I’m going to try it.” I’m glad I did. Tsukuru Tazaki is a railroad engineer and one day his close knit group of friends abruptly cuts him off leaving Tsukuru depressed, suicidal and without answers. Years later though, Tsukuru at the behest of his girlfriend Sara, goes on a quest to find out what happened hopefully reconciling with his friends and become happy.



With my first time reading by Murakami, I was very impressed. It was clever of Murakami to name Tsukuru’s friends after colors which are Ao, Aka, Shiro & Kuro which is Japanese for Blue, Red, White & Black. Tsukuru is the only name without a color but it does mean “to make or  build”. Even though the story is not fast paced, Murakami’s writing is very descriptive and beautiful. Murakami could make a tree the main character and I would read an entire novel about the tree. Tsukuru slowly grows as a character and I like that yes the majority of the story takes place back and forth between Nagoya and Tokyo, toward the last part we take a trip to Finland to talk to one of the final friends.



I felt the story ended abruptly and it did seem as though Murakami didn’t know how to end it. Certain descriptions about sex were a bit graphic.



Despite the graphic sex, and the abrupt ending, I enjoyed the novel.  This is the novel that has turned me on to reading more from Haruki Murakami. The story is about character growth, finding closure and learning to let go. I understand this novel is not for everyone. Really Murakami’s works in general are not for everyone. It has to have an acquired tasted like gorgonzola cheese. Then again, no book is going to please every reader. If you’re not a fan of slower paced character driven novels this isn’t for you. If you love descriptive language then you could probably handle the slower paced story.