To call this a review would be unfair -- "love story" is not a fiction genre that I like. My mind is not rational enough to take a neutral view of a love story. I have one advice before you buy this book -- don't buy this book. Two bookish friends of mine (A and A) should not ever read this book; buying the novel would not be just a waste of money but will bring a horrible effect to the two of you. I will "judge" you if you read this book too. In plain simple word -- do not buy the book. The main reason apart from the fact it is "just" a love story is that the portrayal of the xes scenes are just horribly detailed and traumatising.
When he hears her favourite song, Beatles' Norwegian Wood, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love, Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend, Kizuki. Immediately he is transported back to his student days in Tokyo in a world of uneasy friendships, casual sex, passion, loss- to a time when a her classmates Midori came to his life (taken from the shorter version of the plot at the back of the book). He has to choose between the present and the past and the future. His best friend, Kizuki killed himself when he was 17 years old.
Naoko and Watanabe then fall in love (as what every love story is about). Fast forward, Naoko killed herself. It's not worth to tell more as the story is just "just a love story". As I've told before, I'm not a fan of this genre but with my personal aim to read all Haruki Murakami's books, I managed to go through the story till the end. It was a challenge. It is completely different from my experience when reading Kafka on the Shore. To my friends, I have only one thing to say about this book -- "eeeuw" (both in reference to the plot and tonnes of xes scenes).-The Chukai Insider