Penguin – Norwegian Wood

Norweigen Wood was written by Haruki Murakami in 1987. It being his first book to propel him into huge success. Infact 1 in 7 people in Japan have read this book. Its a cult classic worldwide, especially with a teenage and young adult following. This because of its relating themes such as mental health, societal norms and sexual exploration. I was very anxious to read this book because I am not the best reader and I do struggle to take in information. So I knew I would need to take lots of notes along the way which I did do. After reading the book I did feel quite accomplished and actually enjoyed it. I felt it was quite moving and a little hard to read sometimes. Some of the main themes I picked out were music, mental health and nostalgia. A big theme is suicide and the struggles that ensues for the people left behind. Theres a sense of disconnect from all the characters and that they are in a daze. That they’re broken and can’t be fixed. I didn’t like the way it romanticised mental illness, painting the broken female characters as attractive I felt was a little diminutive. Although I would need to take in to consideration the time and geographical difference to my own plus the novel being through Turo’s eyes. However this was defiantly an interesting read that had me thinking about situations in my own life.

After a couple days to think I wrote down the themes I felt were important and that I might want to explore. Ones that I felt quite strongly about was this sense of disconnect Toru had from everyone around him. That he was wondering through life in this daze trying to navigate life after this devastating event. Words like broken, loss and loneliness are things I would like to explore too. I feel they could really convey the novel and create an engaging outcome.

I now want to look at already existing cover deigns for Norwegian Wood and see whats already out there. I want to create something different and give the novel a modern cover that can relate to a new audience.

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