Review: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

colorlessSaw this one at the library and snatched it up, because it is the latest novel by the acclaimed author of the 1Q84 trilogy, which I have at home, sitting unread.

At almost 400 pages, this is an indimidating book on the surface – but it is also smaller in size, so the volume of content is deceiving. I got it finished in a week’s time, maybe over the course of a few hours. I could easily sit and read 50-100 pages in a sitting.

A little bit about the cover, because it doesn’t make sense until you read the book. There are four swatches of color on the front, representing Tsukruru’s four close high school friends, each whose name contained the Japanese word for that color. Tsukuru is the only one of the group whose name has no color (hence the “Colorless” moniker). There’s also another swatch that shows a piece of a map – probably a railroad map, as that is Tsukuru’s occupation as an adult, and also represents his quest to figure out why his friends cut him off after their first year of college.

I imagine some of the intricacy of this novel was lost in translation. The writing is simple, the story flows easily, but it wasn’t a WOW for me. It’s probably one that I’ll forget I read, or at the least, forget the plot. I still want to read 1Q84 because of its accolades, however, this isn’t one that I’d spend any time on, even though it’s a quick read.


  1. This novel was easily my least favourite of his works that I’ve read so far – I agree that it just doesn’t WOW a reader. I definitely recommend 1Q84 or Wind-Up Bird Chronicle for a bit more punch.

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