REVIEW: Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami


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Title: Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Author: Haruki Murakami
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Publication date: August, 12th, 2014
Genres: fiction, cultural (Japan), romance
Pages: 386
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought

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Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning ‘red pine’, and Oumi, ‘blue sea’, while the girls’ names were Shirane, ‘white root’, and Kurono, ‘black field’. Tazaki was the only last name with no colour in it.

One day Tsukuru Tazaki’s friends announced that they didn't want to see him, or talk to him, ever again.

Since that day Tsukuru has been floating through life, unable to form intimate connections with anyone. But then he meets Sara, who tells him that the time has come to find out what happened all those years ago.

Colourless Tsukuru was an entertaining, poignant novel of a man who battles with loneliness, overcoming the events of his past, trying to move onwards away from them. Tsukuru is clearly affected by the mistreatment of his old friends, as it is seen in his later adult life, as well as throughout the entirety of the novel. The portrayal of this is phenomenal in Murakami's novel, and as I got to know Tsukuru, I began to feel sympathetic towards him because he was treated so unjustly. 

The plot development throughout Colourless Tsukuru kept me hooked: all I wanted to do was find out what happened to Tsukuru to make him like he was in the novel, and what would happen to him as he began to investigate why he was treated in such a way. Colourless Tsukuru had its comical moments, and often I found myself laughing - although the humour is fairly subtle. I feel that the plot and the characters complemented the novel as a whole, as Tsukukuru grew and came out of his shell more, the plot became more intricate. It made the book hard to put down, and I had to keep reading. 

The cast of characters in Colourless Tsukuru were interesting, although I found myself wanting to find out more about Sara, a friend of Tsukuru's. Whilst she was a minor character, she seemed rather mysterious, and there wasn't that much information about her in the novel - unlike some of the other minor characters, where their backstories are mentioned in small detail. The majority of the characters were very well written, they stood out as their own individuals all the way through Colourless Tsukuru. Both the plot and characters were equally brilliant. 

This was an enjoyable book to read to pass the time along, it clears up a lot of questions that pop up throughout Colourless Tsukuru, which concluded the book fantastically - however, I found that several of the questions that I had that were left unanswered, which was slightly disappointing. Although, if you're looking for something a bit different to read, then I definitely recommend Colourless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage

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