Thursday, May 25, 2017

Five top novels in which music is a character

At B&N Reads Jeff Somers tagged five novels in which music is a character, including:
Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami

Using an orchestral version of the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood” in much the same way Proust used his madeleine, Murakami’s protagonist Toru Watanabe is moved to sink into a reverie about his past. The song is repeatedly referenced throughout the text, as Toru remembers his love affair with beautiful, delicate Naoko. The song becomes a Greek chorus of regret and loss, rising up like a ghost at key moments, altering the tone of the story in unexpectedly powerful ways. You can easily imagine Murakami listening to Rubber Soul on repeat as he wrote; listening to it yourself while reading it creates an incredible sense of looping time and interconnectedness.
Read about the other entries on the list.

Norwegian Wood is among Matthew Carl Strecher's ten best Haruki Murakami books, Melissa Albert's five best books that inspire great mix tapes and Julith Jedamus' top ten Japanese novels.

--Marshal Zeringue