Book blog Japan Movie blog

Murakami classic finally makes it onto the big screen

Anybody interested in Japanese culture has read at least one Haruki Murakami novel, and it is likely that one novel would be the emotional and nostalgic Norwegian Wood (1987) – the tale of sex, loss and mental illness that brought Murakami world-wide success.

Although the movie, made by a Vietnamese-French director, openend in Japan on Friday to mixed reviews, and no doubt the millions of faithful fans will be hard to please, I would defnitely recommend either the film or the book as a great introduction to the surreal amd often twisted fantasy-worlds created by Murakami in his other novels, such as: the post-modern fantasy of A Wild Sheep Chase (1982); the magical and dream-like Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World (1985); or the more socially-conscious (and my favourite) The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1995) which melts reality with fantasy and even violence, an element of Japanese society that is usually kept behind the screen.

Read reviews in the Guardian and the Japan Times.

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