tl;dr - | ✭✭✭✩✩ | This was my first Murakami book, and it was ok. Just a slow moving human story, which I listened to as an audio book. I absolutely love the cover, but I'm not sure that this story will be memorable months down the line.
Description - Tsukuru Tazaki has forever felt colorless, especially compared to his four close friends from high school who all had colorful names and personalities to match. But unfortunately, he hasn't seen or heard from those friends in 16 years. When Tsukuru's girlfriend suggest he reconnect to see where things went wrong, and thus begin a healing cycle for himself, Tsukuru goes back to visit his old friends to find out why he was cut out of the group. Through his personal journey, he also reflects upon another friend from college whom he lost touch with. It is the story of healing, friendship, and self-acceptance.
So, when I was at work and saw this book with a seriously awesome cover, I didn't know Harui Murakami was an author who had been around for quite a while, and an author that some people absolutely adore. I mean, I can't get over how much I love this cover. I was (and still am) seriously considering buying the book just because the cover was so awesome. And at that point, I hadn't read any of his stories, let alone that one. I know, I have a serious problem when it comes to buying books.
Anyways. I listened to this audio book, and the reader had a very gentle hum of a voice. Its a voice that could definitely lull you into a relaxed state, if not to sleep. I thought he did pretty well narrating the story. Though, I will say that most of the audiobooks I've listened to have been either classics or YA, so all the sudden hearing about erect penises while I'm shelving at work totally threw me off. Anyways.
But yeah. So, I'm not sure if I like the way Murakami writes about women. And I'm not sure if its a cultural thing, or if I just haven't read enough fiction written by men lately, or if I've just had SO many books with female protagonists that I've become unfamiliar with the way a male protagonist perceives women. But there were little things that bothered me. That also could be something that stuck out more when hearing the book, rather than had I actually read it myself.
Anyways. This story was just a human story. There wasn't really anything flashy, not really anything supernatural except for a story about death and dying told by one of Tsukuru's college friends, and if you're really into those kinds of stories then you'll enjoy this book. It was kind of slow, didn't really have any suspense, but the curiosity of why Tsukuru's friends cut him out of their group of friends definitely keeps you reading to the end. It was good, but I doubt it will stay in my memory long term.