Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

So, I finished reading the new Murakami book last night. I'd actually preordered it so I could read it on holidays but I cancelled my credit card after I lost it and that meant my Amazon order failed. Then I started reading the Game of Thrones books and that killed a few months of my life.

Anyway, Colourless Tsukuru (I can't spell colourless without the "u", American spelling kills my soul), it's shit. Harsh but true.

Have you heard of Nanowrimo? The writing thing where people all over the world get together to write a novel in November? I've participated a few times and you end up writing a pile of junk to meet your word count - trite conversations and unnecessary description with lots of loose threads. The point is after you write that, you might have the kernel of a story that you can edit and shape into something worth reading. Colourless Tsukuru reads like a Nanowrimo first draft.

It made me wonder if maybe Murakami is trying to take the piss out of himself - or maybe his readers. It's like every Murakami cliché has been thrown in there. At one point, the characters go to a cocktail bar and I was thinking whoa, that's new... a cocktail bar not a JAZZ bar. Except right at the end of the chapter, a jazz band starts playing. You could almost play 'spot the Murakamism' with this book.

There are whole big wads of conversation that could be cut. If you've read 1Q84 and got frustrated by the old lady that goes on long rants that read more like personal lectures from the author rather than real conversation, you are going to hate this book. There's no magic, no sparkle, just people pontificating.

The flow of the story isn't helped by the fact that the book includes lots of work play -- on Japanese words. It must've been a translator's nightmare and it is far too clunky to be enjoyable.

I declare this book the worst Murakami book ever. As a reader, I hated it. As a writer, I got a nice glow of inner satisfaction to realise that even an author of Murakami's calibre could write something so shit.