• Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

  • By: Haruki Murakami
  • Narrated by: Michael Fenton Stevens
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 08-12-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audio
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.3 (62 ratings)

Regular price: $22.27

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Publisher's Summary

Tsukuru Tazaki's life was irreparably changed when his relationships with his high school best friends became severed during Tsukuru's college days, with no explanation. Now at 35, Tsukuru's girlfriend Sara suggests he goes to talk to these high school friends in person to mend the relationships. Tsukuru visited his friends in Nagoya and Finland one by one, and uncovers the real reason as to why their relations were broken off.
©2013 Haruki Murakami (P)2014 W F Howes Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Heather on 11-29-14

Murakami in contemplative mode

What made the experience of listening to Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage the most enjoyable?

The wonder of living now is that Murakami is writing - and regardless of whether the books are big and strange, or small and eloquent, or small and decidedly weird, its a privilege. The narration of this is quite perfect - its a novel that has a quiet way of slipping in - and while it isn't my favourite Murakami (The Wind Up Bird Chronicle is flawless) is it still liqueur.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Audio Gra Gra on 10-04-14

Tsukuru gets on with life

This was my third Murakami novel, prior to this I've read 1Q84 and The Wind Up Bird Chronicle. By the half way point I realised this book was very different from my previous experiences with Murakami, in that this is a fairly straight forward novel, where as both Wind Up Bird and 1Q84 are long, sprawling and surreal. There are still hints of the surreal here, but there is never any melding between the plot and fantasy as I've read in his other work.
The plot for Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is very simple - Tsukuru is a man nearing middle age who lives a solitary life when he starts dating a woman named Sarah. After getting together a few times, Tsukuru tells Sarah that he had once been part of a close group of 5 school friends, but as they approached adulthood, he was suddenly evicted from the group one day for no apparent reason. He becomes depressed and lives the rest of his life from this point almost friendless, working as a train station designer with a resigned acceptance of how things have turned out for him.
Sarah tells him that she doesn't want to continue the relationship until he deals with his past so she convinces him to go back and visit his old friends to find out why they had rejected him so suddenly and strongly. With this, Tsukuru sets off to talk to his old friends individually and finally learns why they had abandoned him.
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is a meditative exploration of a man's loneliness, confusion and search for a spark to re-ignite his enthusiasm for life after the hurt of being abandoned so unfairly by his friends. Having read 2 Murakami books previously, I wasn't expecting an ending where everything or at least something ends up neatly resolved, but this comes close at least, and for that reason the ending is more satisfying than both Wind Up Bird and 1Q84.
I wasn't a fan of the narration - the "Britishness" and "properness" of it was a mistake - Murakami is a writer of quirkiness, and while the words and characters in the novel express that, the narration doesn't.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 09-20-14

Colorless Tsukuru is just that.....

What did you like best about Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage? What did you like least?

Let me make it clear that I am a huge fan of Murakami. Whenever life gets me down I reread or relisten to Kafka on the Shore or 1Q84 or the Windup Bird Chronicles or.....You get the idea. But I had something of a bad feeling about this one from the start. American translation read ever so carefully by British narrator sounds awkward. But once we get into the story I'll forget that. Except that there really isn't much story to get into. No magical realism - ok I knew that from the reviews - just people talking - and talking - and talking. OK, they talk in different places and we do get a trip to Finland where the best writing happens in a scene overlooking a lake which has all the tenderness and poignancy of the best of his work. But otherwise to be honest it's the first Murakami I haven't enjoyed much. Reviews compare it to Norwegian Wood but in that we have a strong dramatic thread which is completely lacking here.

What was most disappointing about Haruki Murakami’s story?

As colourless as the title

Did Michael Fenton Stevens do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

Errm - while he reads very well I felt all the characters were as colourless as each other.

Was Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage worth the listening time?

Not really except for the Finland section

Any additional comments?

If you are new to Murakami please don't start here! Start with something like Kafka on the Shore which is a fantastic listen.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Mark on 10-17-14

The best Murakami novel bar none

This is quite a claim to make. For me he is one of the top three authors in the world today so I have not written this lightly.
With his wonderful slightly off-centre way of seeing the world, this novel actually has its foundation in a more real-world theme of friendship and loss.
I normally listen to my audiobooks whilst driving and then read normal books at home, however when I returned home, three hours into the story, I took my iPod inside and continued listening through to the end just before midnight. Feeling totally emotionally engaged with the characters it is a wonderful story, wonderful reading and left me feeling drained.
How I wish I still had to listen to it for the first time again.

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19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Kellie Jennings on 09-29-15

Colourless, but intriguing.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

This was a nice listen. It captured me instantly, I don't know if I would recommend it though, as I was left with many unanswered questions.

Would you be willing to try another book from Haruki Murakami? Why or why not?

I would, Haruki Murakami has a unique style of writing, it is of an older world. He describes places and scenes with such clarity you feel as though you are a spectator looking on. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing his words as narrated by Michael Fenton Stevens

What does Michael Fenton Stevens bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Michael Fenton Stevens' way of translating written word to spoken word was effortless. he brings you into Tazaki's world and you watch it unfold as if you were there. You would never have guessed the book to have been translated from Japanese to English, it was seamless in description.

Was Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage worth the listening time?

Even though I was disappointed with the end of the book, and how it had played out, I was impressed on actual audio time.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Cass McLeod on 09-19-15

slow pace but still interesting

very easy to listen to. i was a little bit frustrated with the pace of the story, and it seemed to labour over Lexus for some unknown reason. overall it was worth it.

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