Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his years of Pilgrimage is the newest book by Haruki Murakami and it is a fun quick read. As the title suggests it is a Bildungsroman,or coming of age story as our main character Tsukuru Tazaki goes on an journey of self discovery. The story begins with the narrator telling us about Tsukuru and how he has been devastated by his closest friend from high school as they cut him off this group. We are told that these five individuals came together doing volunteer work by chance and they all got along well The group consisted of Akamatsu, Oumio, Shirane, Kurono and Tsukuru. Mr. Red, Mr.Blue, Ms. White, Ms. Black and Colorless Tsukuru. They were friends through high school but when Tsukuru moved away to Tokyo for College he was kicked out of the group for no real reason. Tsukuru wanted to die after this, but after six months he wanted to live.
Tsukuru started dating a new girl, Sara, and he starts talking about his past and his friends from high school who cut him off, she keep pressing him about these friends and we learn about how Tsukuru came back from his death. He begins to swim to build up the muscle mass that he lost in those six months and soon he became friends with someone he met at the pool they were quick friend and Haida, Mr. Gray. they get along great and Haida and Tsukuru begin spending weekends together, hanging out listening to classic music talking about whatever.
This book is difficult to really fully explain as it jumps around in time as Tsukuru is often telling Sara about these things in his past and then we have some dreams and a tale as well, so the narrative isn’t a straight line but it goes back and forth until the end. Sara presses Tsukuru to go visit his friends from high school to find out what all happened that caused him to get kicked out of the group. He learns that the boys are still in his hometown, one girl lives in Finland and the other has died. This is a heart breaking thing for Tsukuru to deal with and he goes and find out how these long lost friends are doing.From all that I’ve read this book hits many of the tropes that Murakami likes to hit in his coming of age stories.
Perhaps I’ll go read another one of his works like 1Q84, as I have often seen it at the library and wonder what it was all about. 1984 or something else? It was also a fun read as just last year my high school class celebrated out 11th reunion, although I didn’t attend I have wondered where some of these people from high school have gone and what they done in the past decade. Hopefully there can be better planning when the 15th reunion comes around.