Taking a Midnight Swim: A Review of “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki” by Haruki Murakami

UMF English Department Blog


International sensation Haruki Murakami is back with his latest book “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage”. After his magnum opus “1Q84”, a delightful science-fiction-fantasy concoction spanning three volumes, Murakami’s latest effort is a return to more humble origins; recalling the emotional turmoil of novels such as “After Dark” (2008) and “South of the Border, West of the Sun” (2000), Colorless is a return to the every day: self-esteem, love, and friendship. The ability to maintain healthy interpersonal relationships all weigh heavily on this work’s threads. A fabric whose very fiber exudes rich philosophical meditation.

It is a tale of existential crisis; in high Murakami fashion, Colorless begins with a poignant musing: suicide. The protagonist, Tsukuru Tazaki, is cast out of his group of friends during his sophomore year of university—perhaps giving new meaning to the term ‘Sophomore Slump’—and enters a deep depression. Losing great swaths of weight, drinking…

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