Recommendation: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami


Excerpt: From July of his sophomore year in college until the following January, all Tsukuru Tazaki could think about was dying. He turned twenty during this time, but this special watershed — becoming an adult — meant nothing. Taking his own life seemed the most natural solution, and even now he couldn’t say why he hadn’t taken this final step. Crossing that threshold between life and death would have been easier than swallowing down a slick, raw egg.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is a quietly wondrous exploration of self-actualization and social acceptance in our quizzically-structured human world. The protagonist is a mellow, “colorless” being as the title suggests, who transforms into an individual who cements his center and who he believes he is. As a reader, you may find that you cannot help but empathize with him, for there is a quality of self-doubt about him that speaks familiarly to the human psyche.

The author’s writing is a gentle rapture as always, with deceptively simple language that belies a deeper philosophy worth ruminating. Although the plot does not tie all of its loose ends, it manages to sufficiently quench any broader disparities and come full circle. A definite read for fans of the author and his style, but do pick up for the transcendental ethos and vividly unforgettable characters.

Submitted by Kari H.


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