This is my third Murakami so far and it has firmly placed him among my favourite authors whom I would read anything they wrote.
Norwegian Wood is a straight novel for Murakami, unlike his other more surreal works. So if this is your first one you might be in for a slight surprise later.
I was a little unsure to begin with, but I shouldn't have worried. I loved it.
With translations, it's difficult for me to say how much is Murakami? How much is the translator? I loved the words, the turns of phrase, the way Murakami expresses the character's thoughts and feelings and gently runs the story out. Sometimes I wish I was good at languages - I wish I could read this in the original Japanese and see how Murakami really does write.
As it is though, I love how the book is written, the imagery and the subtle growth of the main character. The story sounds quite simple - young university student falls in love with his dead best friend's girlfriend but then meets Midori and he finds himself at a crossroads.
There are a lot of references to darkness and wells. Had I not read Wind-up beforehand I may not have been quite as intrigued by this. You'll know why if you have already read it.
Without wanting to say too much about the book, it will certainly leave you thinking throughout - it isn't just some silly little love story as it might sound. It needs to be slowly digested and appreciated.