Review: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I hated this book when I first finished it. I thought: unresolved. But then… As I’m typing this, I’m listening to Liszt’s Le Mal du Pays: also known as his Years of Pilgrimage. It’s coming from my phone that now has Elvis’s Viva Las Vegas as a ringtone (if you read this, you’ll know why). As I look back, I’ve also spent considerable time pondering the goings of people, back and forth. And then there is the whole color and name aspect. Maybe I love this novel after all.

Haruki Murakami’s novel features two of the S words found in many of the Japanese writings I’ve seen: suicide and sex. But it also has another important S word: spirit. Yes, many may see this book as depressing because undecided—colorless—Tsukuru Tazaki ponders suicide for six months. He sits there, unmotivated, unmoved. Yes, many may be offended at Tazaki’s lurid sexual dreams and fantasies. However, as I let this novel sink into my soul of understanding, I can see that it is more than these things: a deeper meaning. Add to this the important facets of friendship, colors, music, art, name meanings, and—train stations. The novel opens, closes, and is built around the moving trains.

I haven’t yet decided what it all means to me. Maybe it’s melancholy. Maybe it is being satisfied with our own places in life, not yearning to achieve more at the sacrifice of others, and being comfortable in our own skin. Each of us has a designation; we all complete a perfect circle. Some of us hurt. Some of us are distracted. It all goes back and forth until the last train heads out and fades away into the night sky.

No, I don’t hate this novel. I love it very much.

Thank you to my friends at Knopf for sending this to me electronically for review. I’ll be thinking about this for a long time to come.

Oh, and here’s the song that is featured in, and summarizes the book nicely:

You can find this book’s preview and other reviews on Amazon: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A novel



4 thoughts on “Review: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

    1. ryandejonghe Post author

      Thanks. You may want to check other reviews, too. Some folks had issues with his female characters, but I’m not sure that the message was ruined because of it.

  1. kmn04books

    I didn’t hate this book when I finished it, but I was definitely not all the way satisfied, like you, when I read the last pages. I wanted more! However, after some time, I’ve come to forgive Murakami for the loose ending and just enjoy everything that came before. Great review 🙂


I love comments, so tell me what you think:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s