Falling in love in 1960s Tokyo. Love with complications.
When he hears her favourite Beatles song, Toru Watanabe recalls his first love Naoko, the girlfriend of his best friend Kizuki. Immediately he is transported back almost 20 years to his student days in Tokyo, adrift in a world of uneasy friendships, casual sex, passion, loss and desire – to a time when an impetuous young woman called Midori marches into his life and he has to choose between the future and the past.
It took me such a long time to finish this book and I dreaded almost every moment of it. I’d bought this book because some people I know really enjoyed it, but I’m seriously questioning whether they’ve read the same book as I have.
The book has an incredibly slow pace and an annoying knack of expanding into a lot of details, most of which I could’ve easily lived without.
The main character is a young man living in Japan in the ’60s of the previous century. His lives seems to revolve around two women, both of them not in the right mind. I found him to be extremely boring and also a bit like he doesn’t care about anything (though that might just have been true).
If asked for a summary of this book, I would say something like ‘A guy thinks he’s in love with a girl and he drags another girl along.’ Obviously, I will admit the story’s a bit more complicated than that, but I just really couldn’t be bothered to expand and explain.
I wouldn’t recommend this book and I am wondering how the hell it got over a four star rating on Goodreads. Did I miss something important? Did I skip over some bits that made this book worth reading? Is there a punch line to the ending that I’m somehow blind to? I have absolutely no idea, but until somebody can explain those things to me, I won’t rate this book any higher than the one star I think it deserves.