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Ryan DeJonghe - The Avid Reader

I didn't always read, but that changed in June of 2013. I dropped the unnecessary stuff and picked up the awesome stuff--like reading! I started posting my reviews on Amazon and within a few months rose to the top 0.1% of reviewers. My reviews then went to Goodreads, and now my blog (http://ryandejonghe.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Ryan_Reads). If you are reading this, why not leave a comment or send me a note? I love talking to other folks about books and my reviews. Publishers and authors, feel free to drop me a note if you want me to review your book. I usually stick to mainstream publishing, but I'll consider anything. If I review your book, I’ll give you a fair and thorough review and let you know when the review goes live. You can reach me at dejonghes@gmail.com. Happy Reading!
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage - Jay Rubin, Philip Gabriel, Haruki Murakami

I hated this book when I first finished it. I thought: unresolved. But then… As I’m typing this, I’m listening to Liszt’s Le Mal du Pays: also known as his Years of Pilgrimage. It’s coming from my phone that now has Elvis’s Viva Las Vegas as a ringtone (if you read this, you’ll know why). As I look back, I’ve also spent considerable time pondering the goings of people, back and forth. And then there is the whole color and name aspect. Maybe I love this novel after all.


Haruki Murakami's novel features two of the S words found in many of the Japanese writings I’ve seen: suicide and sex. But it also has another important S word: spirit. Yes, many may see this book as depressing because undecided—colorless—Tsukuru Tazaki ponders suicide for six months. He sits there, unmotivated, unmoved. Yes, many may be offended at Tazaki’s lurid sexual dreams and fantasies. However, as I let this novel sink into my soul of understanding, I can see that it is more than these things: a deeper meaning. Add to this the important facets of friendship, colors, music, art, name meanings, and—train stations. The novel opens, closes, and is built around the moving trains.


I haven’t yet decided what it all means to me. Maybe it’s melancholy. Maybe it is being satisfied with our own places in life, not yearning to achieve more at the sacrifice of others, and being comfortable in our own skin. Each of us has a designation; we all complete a perfect circle. Some of us hurt. Some of us are distracted. It all goes back and forth until the last train heads out and fades away into the night sky.


No, I don’t hate this novel. I love it very much.


Thank you to my friends at Knopf for sending this to me electronically for review. I’ll be thinking about this for a long time to come.