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Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is a fine story that held my attention until the end.


We all want to be loved, said someone somewhere. And when we are deprived of this, we turn into ourselves, seeking solace and answers. This manifestation sometimes comes in harmful ways. Some turn to the bottle, some drugs. In the end, the result is always a bitter, twisted version of the original person.

Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the story of a young man (Tsukuru) abandoned by his childhood friends. For reasons unknown to Tsukuru, they tell him never to contact them again. They also promise not to contact him as well. Tsukuru is distraught. For many years, he carries this betrayal inside him, unable to commit to any deeper, emotional relationship.

Several years later, upon the insistence of his new girlfriend, Tsukuru decides to seek answers as to why his old friends cut him off. His journey will take him to strange places and put him in unusual situations, where he finds answers to troubling questions.

I have heard a lot about Murakami-san, and I had certain expectations when I picked up this material with the aim of writing a book review. He certainly lived up to my expectations… but in an unexpected way. I never expected his writing to be so simple, without unnecessary complexities that few gifted writers use to show off their prowess. His versatility and ability to craft a story is spellbinding.

The only negative I can pull out is that the ending was unsatisfying. Apart from this, I’ll say Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is a fine story that held my attention until the end.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is written by Haruki Murakami and published by Vintage (2 July 2015)

Many thanks to nudge-book for review copy. All images are © to their respective owners.

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