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Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage!

Recently I took a solo trip to Hong Kong and it was absolutely fantastic! I couldn’t really get into reading the book I was carrying with me for the trip (a copy of Atlas Shrugged that a friend gave me), so on the very first day I went into a book store in HK Central and bought a copy of Murakami’s latest work. ‘Atlas Shrugged’ for some reason didn’t fit the vibe of the city I was in. ‘Colorless Tsukuru’ fit it rather well!

This was the 3rd fiction novel from Murakami that I was reading and he finally gave me a happy ending.  Or at least a hopeful ending! Contrary to what a lot of people have said online I think Sara will choose Tsukuru in the end. He will not be colorless after all!

Now this story is about rejection and what it can do to somebody. Tsukuru is part of a happy gang of 5 growing up but then he is suddenly cut off from the group with no explanation at all. From the deck of the ship, he is thrown into the freezing river in the middle of the night. It takes a huge toll on him, transforms him physically and emotionally.

Numerous times when I’m reading Murakami I get the feeling that he is on to me. He knows what I’m feeling deep down in my guts and he verbalizes those exact emotions. He did it when I was reading the ‘Wind-Up Bird Chronicle’, I was all ready to climb down a dank dark well, baseball bat in hand. Only I couldn’t find such a well in the Greater New York City area. He did it again when I was reading ‘Norwegian Wood’ and he surely did it with ‘Colorless Tsukuru’ as well.

I think Murakami’s books, this one included, are not for everyone. Before I had read any of his works I remember a friend telling me that his books are all about weird people doing weird things in weird places. 3 books and numerous pages later I believe that his stories and characters are not that weird after all!


This little exchange between Tsukuru and Sara I thought was absolutely priceless. This happens when he calls her up at 4 in the morning to tell her that he loves her.

“I love you, Sara, and I want you more than anything.” Over the phone he heard a rustling sound, as if she were fumbling for something. She gave a small cough, then made a sound he took to be an exhalation.

“Is it okay to talk with you about it now?” Tsukuru asked. 

“Of course,” Sara said. “I mean, it’s not even four yet. You can say whatever you want. Nobody’s listening in. They’re all sound asleep.”

“I truly love you, and I want you,” Tsukuru repeated.

“That’s what you wanted to call me at not quite 4 a.m. to tell me?”

‘Been there, done exactly that’, I thought!!

Published in Reading


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