Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is definitely his most accessible novel in a while. Here he gives us the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages.
I love Murakami. I remember years ago I happened to walk into Borders at Times Square, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and every single one of his books were going for 3 for 2 special offers. I grabbed them all and started with Dance Dance Dance on the spot and finished it on the ride back home. Nobody, and I mean nobody, writes stories like him and seriously nobody would even try to do it because they would be slammed for being pretentious. Murakami is the master, he is the ultimate amiable tour guide. You know what the main highlights will be but he will lead you down the beaten path to strange places and in the end it is these weird places that make the trip memorable. His heavily plotted stories are near impossible to pigeonhole and they are a genre in itself.
This one is a superbly satisfying read. The prose is seductive and balletic. It has solid moments of suspense, quiet moments of fragility and tranquil moments of pure Zen. I would highly recommend this novel if you are keen to discover Murakami but something stops me from going all out to do just that. If you are one of those that need every plot-line to be tied up and explained away, this is definitely not for you. But if you are those few who dream every night and the tendrils of the dream continue to envelope you as you revel in the waking hours. You are not sure what the dream mean and the meaning feels elusive, but yet you feel the essence of what it is trying to tell you. Then you are one of those whom Murakami cries out to with his prose. His stories are dreamscapes. They give meaning to what you dream at night.