Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Book - 2014
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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage marks a new direction in Murakami's fiction: a return to the lyrical realism not seen since his 1987 novel Norwegian Wood , but set against the social realities of contemporary Japan.
      Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage centers on a devastating emotional betrayal and its consequences. Tsukuru Tazaki belongs to a tight-knit group of five friends in high school--three boys and two girls who form a perfect circle they imagine will stay together forever. But when Tsukuru returns home from college in Tokyo, he finds himself inexplicably rebuffed by the group. Something has changed, but nobody, not even his closest friends, will tell him what.
     Years later, Tsukuru, now a successful engineer, begins dating an older woman named Sara and confesses to her the shadow this betrayal has cast over his life. Sara urges Tsukuru to try to find his old group and to try to solve the mystery that has haunted him all these years: why did they suddenly turn on him?
     On a quest to discover the truth, Tsukuru travels back to meet his old friends--with the exception of Shiro, the group's most volatile and psychologically unstable member, who he learns was strangled to death in an unsolved murder six years ago. As the dark truth about Shiro reveals itself, Tsukuru must confront the simmering emotional undercurrents that the group had suppressed in order to reach their ideal of perfect friendship.
     Can love overcome isolation? Is it possible to truly reach another person? Can buried emotions ever really stay buried? And will confronting the past allow Tsukuru to finally open himself up to the future?
Publisher: Toronto :, Doubleday Canada,, [2014]
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780385681834
Branch Call Number: F MUR
Characteristics: 386 pages : illustrations (some colour) ; 19 cm


From Library Staff

punchytree Oct 18, 2014

I've been reading books that are a little more light-hearted so I thought it would be a good time to switch it up a bit. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami is definitely not light-hearted, but it is a fantastic read. Friendships, love, regret, openness, and de... Read More »

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Aug 24, 2019

This book gives an accurate insight to an ordinary or "colorless" person through the struggle of Tsukuru Tazaki. The doubts, especially with the fear of confronting his friends' abandonment, serve as building blocks for the character's self-discovery. The pace was calm and appropriate, allowing the readers to sit back and think about some of the proposed questions. Personally, Tsukuru is the character that resonates the most with me in literature because I identify myself with a lot of the problems he encounter - loss of connection, depression, identity crisis, and the desire to love someone while keeping a distance.

Aug 09, 2019

Sixteen years ago, Tsukuru Tazaki’s life almost came to an end when his four greatest friends cut him off completely without explanation. Ao, Aka, Shiro, Kuro, and Tsukuru had been the best of friends in high school, and even though Tsukuru had drifted away from them somewhat when he moved away for university, they were still very close. However, one day, out of the blue, they stopped speaking to him. Now, years later, Sara, the first woman he has ever truly loved, encourages him to look back into his past and try to understand the complex emotional tangle that separation left him with. She gets him in touch with his old friends, and he must go to see them, to understand and work past what happened those many years ago.
For me, Haruki Murakami’s style of writing is something that feels good to read. I’d almost describe it as refreshing, like drinking cold water when you had been thirsty without realizing it. I’m engaged in reading all of his novels, and this one didn’t disappoint. Although it was nearly 400 pages, it was a smooth read, and I finished it quickly. Even though I had some unanswered questions (what happened to Haida?) at the end, I was still left with a calm settled feeling. The main character, Tsukuru, is a different person from me in many ways, but I completely understood what he was feeling, and Murakami has a tendency to, all of the sudden, say clever and yet subtle things that do a great job of encapsulating ideas I share. He’s an exceptional writer and it’s not hard to understand how he’s world famous and has won many awards. I’d definitely recommend him as an author, and this book as well.

Jul 17, 2019

One of the single best novels I've read in recent years that chronicles the heartbreak of friendships. Murakami explores the mind and soul in the aftermath of feeling one's world and relationships crumble to pieces. Extremely thought-provoking, but do not expect this novel to have a traditional resolution.

Jun 18, 2019

Fantastic novel about friendship, love, trauma, and healing. I would recommend to anyone on the hunt for a compelling piece of fiction by one of our greatest writers.

I can't think of a contemporay fiction writer writing better about the distortions of complex trauma and its fallout. Murakami's existential hero Tsukuro Tazaki's comment: "I've always seen myself as an empty person, lacking color and identity," gells perfectly with the character of those individuals dealing with unresolved complex trauma. A brilliant novel, flawless. R.F.M.A.

Jan 06, 2019

Not impressed with the writing, characters, story or theme. A young adult novel, perhaps.

Nov 04, 2018

I read this for my book club and it was okay. I thought that the main character's conflict was interesting but the ending of the story was lackluster.

SCL_Justin Aug 14, 2017

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the new novel by Haruki Murakami. It was more in the realm of Sputnik Sweetheart or South of the Border, West of the Sun than it was a 1Q84 or Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.

Really, that’s probably all the review this needs. I love Murakami novels (even the ones I have issues with) and this is very definitely a Murakami novel.

In this one, the protagonist Tsukuru Tazaki is trying to reconnect with his tight group of friends from when they were young. There’d been five of them and he was the only one who didn’t have a colour in his name. He lost contact when they all abruptly cut him off one day, out of nowhere. Tazaki is pushed into this task by a girlfriend and it involves a lot of reflection and listening to Liszt.

It didn’t get very weird. It echoed the dream responsibilities and other worlds of some of his other books, and there’s speculation about what could have happened and Tazaki’s responsibility for what a nonexistent version of himself was capable of. That the plot feeds into rape-culture - where disbelieving victims of sexual assault and sympathizing with the nice guy who doesn't think he raped anyone is the norm - is problematic, but I think it's handled in not-atrocious fashion.

In general I liked the book as comfort reading from one of my favourite authors, but wasn't set on fire by it.

KarenTherese Jun 28, 2017

A simply wonderful title! I was pulled in from the first page and enjoyed until the end!
It speaks reverently about the power of words and how they can impact a life and underscores how others can become alienated by painful and unexplained rejection.

Feb 17, 2017

It is good, but I am not sure how it sold 11 million copies in its first week.

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Sep 14, 2015

People do change. And no matter how close we once were, and how much we opened up to each other, maybe neither of us knew anything substantial about the other.

Jun 25, 2015

As we go through life we gradually discover who we are, but the more we discover, the more we lose ourselves.

Jun 25, 2015

Still, being able to feel pain was good, he thought. It's when you can't even feel anymore pain that you're in real trouble.

Jan 03, 2015

And naturally Tsukuru was happy, and proud, to be included as one indispensable side of the pentagon. He loved his four friends, loved the sense of belonging he felt when he was with them. Like a young tree absorbing nutrition from the soil, Tsukuru got the sustenance he needed as an adolescent from this group, using it as necessary food to grow, storing what was left as an emergency heat source inside him. Still, he had a constant, nagging fear that someday he would fall away from this intimate community, or be forced out and left on his own. Anxiety raised its head, like a jagged, ominous rock exposed by the receding tide, the fear that he would be separated from the group and end up entirely alone.

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