Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the latest novel from Japanese author Haruki Murakami. It is not by any means his longest novel but it is one of his best. I couldn’t put it down!
Tsukuru embarks on his pilgrimage in order to try to solve the mystery of why his four closest friends from high school have suddenly cut him off completely. They had met while volunteering for the same project and had become inseparable. The five of them had similar tastes and came from similar backgrounds and related strongly to the other members of the group. Then, one day some years later, the other four simply stopped speaking to Tsukuru despite all his efforts to contact them. “What is the reason?” he wonders. Is it because
- the others, two girls and two boys, have paired off romantically and he is the odd man out?
- he moved away from Nagoya first?
- his name is the only one of the five that is not also the name of a color?
Tsukuru is tormented by his loss and the unknown reason for it until he becomes involved with a woman who encourages him to take steps to solve the mystery.
I was certain that Haruki Murakami would win the Nobel Prize for Literature and he still might someday. His haunting novels feature exquisitely drawn, deeply emotional characters who slip in out of reality and fantasy while trying to come to terms with modern urban life.
If you like Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, you’ll find these other novels by Murakami in the Gordon Library: