Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10 hrs. Books on Tape. 2014. ISBN 9780804166751. $40; 8 CDs. retail ed. Random Audio; Playaway digital; digital download. F
The book is excellently narrated by Bruce Locke and includes audio excerpts from Années de Pèlerinage ("years of pilgrimage"), Le Mal du Pays ("homesickness"), that could amplify the plot. For the novel's protagonist, "Colorless" Tazaki, hearing a recording of the Liszt piano work evokes fond memories of "real" life in his high school clique some 16 years after graduation. Prodded by his Tokyo girlfriend Sara to investigate why he was dropped by the clique while away at college, Tazaki revisits members of the group in Nagoya and Helsinki. Tazaki is the most ultrasensitive male imaginable and possibly the one with ultimate low self-esteem. Could reconnecting with the clique cure his mental and sexual lassitude? Surely to be long debated among Murakami fans.
VERDICT In addition to a pseudomythology on the colors in Japanese names, interesting thoughts on polydactyly, death tokens, sexuality, and human auras pop up only to disappear into the fog of Tazaki's thoughts. Still, recommended for adult collections. ["Murakami devotees will sigh with relief at finding his usual memes—the moon, Cutty Sark, a musical theme, ringing telephones, a surreal story-within-a-story," read the starred review of the Knopf hc, LJ 6/15/14.]

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