Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood Haruki Murakami

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood, P.31

By the second week in September I reached the conclusion that a college education was meaningless. I decided to think of it as a period of training in techniques for dealing with boredom.

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood, P.48

“Nobody likes being alone that much. I don’t go out of my way to make friends, that’s all. It just leads to disappointment.”

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood, P.52

You know: that’s what happens when your grades are good in elementary school. The teacher tells your parents, ‘With grades like hers, she ought to go there.’

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood, P.59

The world was at peace and filled with laughter as long as stories of Storm Trooper were being told.

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood, P.105

People with a strong interest in a limited field came together in a limited spot and exchanged information understood only by themselves.

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood, P.107

“Because you were there,” said Naoko. “He was always like that around you. He struggled to keep his weaknesses hidden. I’m sure he was very fond of you. He made a point of letting you see only his best side. He wasn’t like that with me. He’d let his guard down. He could be really moody. One minute he’d be chattering away, and the next thing he’d be depressed. It happened all the time. He was like that from the time he was little. He did keep trying to change himself, to improve himself, though.”

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood, P.126

“He tried hard, but it didn’t do any good, and that would make him really angry and sad. There was so much about him that was fine and beautiful, but he could never find the confidence he needed. ‘I’ve got to do that, I’ve got to change this,’ he was always thinking, right up to the end. Poor Kizuki!”

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood, P.127

“To tell you the truth, though,” Naoko went on, “I loved his weak side, too. I loved it as much as I loved his good side. There was absolutely nothing mean or sneaky about him. He was weak: that’s all. I tried to tell him that, but he wouldn’t believe me. He’d always tell me it was because we had been together from the time we were three. I knew him too well, he’d say: I couldn’t tell the different between his strong points and his flaws, they were all the same to me. He couldn’t change my mind about him, though. I went on loving him just the same, and I could never be interested in anyone else.”

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood, P.127

People leave strange little memories of themselves behind when they die.

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood, P.197

“They just keep doing the same things,” I said. “Well, what else can they do? We all just keep doing the same things.” She had a point there.

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood, P.225

What a terrible thing it is to wound someone you really care for—and to do it so unconsciously.

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood, P.243

There’s nothing the least bit sinful about it. Things like that happen all the time in this great big world of ours. It’s like taking a boat out on a beautiful lake on a beautiful day and thinking both the sky and the lake are beautiful. So stop eating yourself up alive. Things will go where they’re supposed to go if you just let them take their natural course. Despite your best efforts, people are going to be hurt when it’s time for them to be hurt. Life is like that.

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood, P.269

But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have for happiness where you find it, and not worry too much about other people. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a lifetime, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives.

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood, P.269

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