Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
A novel

73%

61 Critic Reviews

...a novel less of wandering than of integration, although what this means is difficult to pin down. Does Tsukuru come to any kind of closure? The answer is: Yes and no. The past, even revisited, can never be reclaimed.
-LA Times

Synopsis

New York Times #1 Bestseller
A New York Times and Washington Post notable book, and one of the Financial Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Slate, Mother Jones, The Daily Beast, and BookPage's best books of the year

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the long-awaited new novel—a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan—from the award-winning, internationally best-selling author Haruki Murakami.

Here he gives us the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages.




From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Haruki Murakami

See more books from this Author
Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. His work has been translated into forty-two languages. The most recent of his many honours is the Franz Kafka Prize.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published August 12, 2014 by Vintage. 338 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
icon5
Peak Rank on Aug 31 2014
icon2
Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
1
Want to Read
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage
All: 61 | Positive: 48 | Negative: 13

Kirkus

Excellent
on Jun 15 2014

The reader will enjoy watching Murakami play with color symbolism down to the very last line of the story, even as Tsukuru sinks deeper into a dangerous enigma. Another tour de force from Japan’s greatest living novelist.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Apr 28 2014

Feeling his life will only progress if he can tie up those emotional loose ends, Tsukuru journeys through Japan and into Europe to meet with the members of the group and unravel what really happened 16 years before. The result is a vintage Murakami struggle of coming to terms with buried emotions and missed opportunitie...

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Aug 13 2014

This is the kind of blah surrealism for which Mr. Murakami is so beloved by his fans, who will go to any lengths to justify why a minor book like “Colorless Tsukuru” still has the author’s special je ne sais quoi.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ... | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by PATTI SMITH on Aug 05 2014

This is a book for both the new and experienced reader. It has a strange casualness, as if it unfolded as Murakami wrote it; at times, it seems like a prequel to a whole other narrative...there are moments of epiphany gracefully expressed, especially in regard to how people affect one another.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ... | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Mark Lawson on Aug 06 2014

Although as adept as ever at setting up Kafkaesque ambiguity and atmosphere, he disappointingly chooses to leave most of the mysteries unresolved.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Sean O'Hagan on Jul 26 2014

As oddly satisfying as Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is, though, it is perhaps time that Murakami shifted gear and brought his vast and adoring global readership somewhere else entirely...

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ... | See more reviews from Guardian

WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Toby Lichtig on Aug 21 2014

...for every duff or unhinged sentence there is a moment or passage of human metaphysics beautifully distilled...

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ... | See more reviews from WSJ online

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Meg Wolitzer on Aug 18 2014

...the simplicity and depth of Murakami's work give it its irresistible quality. He's both easy to read and not so easy to understand, but I didn't mind.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ... | See more reviews from NPR

Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Kevin Canfield on Aug 09 2014

...in these pages Murakami again demonstrates a gift for imbuing the mundane with a sense of the surreal, for extracting maximum dramatic impact from quotidian events. Even in a relatively minor novel, his virtuosity is no less apparent.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ... | See more reviews from Star Tribune

LA Times

Good
Reviewed by David L. Ulin on Aug 08 2014

...a novel less of wandering than of integration, although what this means is difficult to pin down. Does Tsukuru come to any kind of closure? The answer is: Yes and no. The past, even revisited, can never be reclaimed.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ... | See more reviews from LA Times

Globe and Mail

Below average
Reviewed by Pasha Malla on Aug 15 2014

Certainly the going refrain about Haruki Murakami’s work is that it is “dreamlike,” so perhaps both slavish Harukists and casual fans alike will be satisfied by the novel’s listless drift.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ... | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

AV Club

Excellent
Reviewed by Noah Cruickshank on Aug 11 2014

...Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki may be Murakami’s most human novel yet...If any work of Murakami’s has the chance to win over readers who were put off by 1Q84 and Kakfa On The Shore, this is it.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ... | See more reviews from AV Club

National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by ROBERT J. WIERSEMA on Aug 29 2014

Make no mistake: Even a flawed Murakami novel is worth reading, and better than most of the other options on the shelf. One wishes, though, that it were better.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ... | See more reviews from National Post arts

The Independent

Below average
Reviewed by Ethine Farry on Aug 03 2014

It is an uneasy book, strangely beautiful at times, occasionally intensely moving, but sometimes frustratingly conventional and emotional vapid. Murakami’s simple, stripped-back sentences can be spell-binding, with the hushed quality of magic, of dark enchantments, at other times they are prosaic to the point of boredom.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

The Independent

Above average
Reviewed by Boyd Tonkin on Aug 01 2014

For all the skittish whimsy of his style, Murakami's fictional pilgrims yearn for "weight and substance" through the traditional anchors of love and work...until the last page turns, the last note fades and the last listener slips quietly from the room.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

The Maine Edge

Good
Reviewed by Allen Adams on Aug 20 2014

[There's an] overall quality of understated elegance that [Murakami's] writing possesses. There are lengthy stretches that are flat-out enthralling, leaving the reader unwilling (and unable) to turn away before turning the page.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Dallas News

Good
Reviewed by Jenny Shank on Aug 09 2014

Murakami doesn’t tie up every loose end in this quiet, reflective novel, but he does enough to satisfy. In the end, Tsukuru’s quest into his past helps him clarify what he wants from his present, and emboldens him to seek it.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

The Boston Globe

Good
Reviewed by John Freeman on Aug 16 2014

“Colorless Tsukuru” spins a weave of such vivid images around a great mystery: Why did Tsukuru’s friends leave him? The two threads form a maze as complicated as reality.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

BookPage

Good
Reviewed by Megan Fishmann on Aug 12 2014

Unfortunately, people who do not read Japanese have had to wait quite some time to read Murakami’s latest...One could argue that it was worth the wait.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Good
Reviewed by Eileen Weiner on Aug 17 2014

With the central mystery solved, Tsukuru seems poised to move ahead and build a real life with Sara. But Mr. Murakami is not one for tying a neat bow on a story; we have learned some important things but must accept that we can’t know it all.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

USA Today

Above average
Reviewed by Kevin Nance on Aug 23 2014

...although the reader's own pilgrimage is significantly more circuitous than it ought to be,Colorless Tsukuru is a journey worth taking.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Tor

Good
Reviewed by Niall Alexander on Aug 13 2014

To wit, with the hyperbolic problems of IQ84—and before that the blandness of After Dark—blessedly behind us, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage marks a moving new chapter in Haruki Murakami’s increasingly incredible career.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Express

Excellent
Reviewed by Jake Kerridge on Aug 03 2014

Let its peculiar beauty wash over you without worrying about what it all means and you will find it ultimately more nutritious than more easily digestible fare.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Oregon Live

Good
Reviewed by Alexis Burling on Aug 13 2014

As Tsukuru puts it: "We each have our paths to follow, in our places. There's no going back." Specific yet ambiguous. Bittersweet yet hopeful. Quite telling. Definitely poetic. Pure Murakami.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

PopMatters

Above average
Reviewed by Michael Antman on Sep 17 2014

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is worth reading (and, incidentally, worth buying for its beautiful hardcover design alone, for those of you enlightened souls who still purchase real books rather than pixels). Alas, this will never be ranked among the greatest of Murakami’s works.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Newsday

Good
Reviewed by SAM THIELMAN on Aug 20 2014

The able translation by Philip Gabriel captures much of the beauty of the Japanese writer's prose, especially in those lyrical passages that blur the line between dream and reality.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Chicago Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Charles Finch on Aug 06 2014

Tsukuru's pilgrimage will never end, because he is moving constantly away from his destination, which is his old self. This is a narrow poignancy, but a powerful one, and Murakami is its master.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Post and Courier

Good
Reviewed by Catherine Holmes on Aug 31 2014

Do expect to find "a warp in the world," as one character in "Kafka" puts it. Murakami leans toward the weird and unsolvable. He loves a mystery, both the hard-core kind and the metaphysical variety.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Times Dispatch

Good
Reviewed by Doug Childers on Aug 16 2014

Don’t be surprised if you devour “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” in the course of a night or two. Despite having an achromatic enigma as its protagonist, it’s shockingly seductive.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

The Rumpus

Below average
Reviewed by Jonathan Clark on Sep 22 2014

A mostly bland male lives a mostly bland life. How will he ever come out of his shell? How will he learn that everything’s okay for him and that he isn’t so bland after all? Meanwhile, a glimmer of a character, a woman, resides desperately in the background, crying out, only to be ignored in the interest of Tsukuru’s journey of self-discovery.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Time Out New York

Below average
Reviewed by Tiffany Gibert on Aug 05 2014

...Tsukuru travels to Finland and notes that every Finn makes witty, albeit trite, remarks about life. The same could be said for the novel (“Our lives are like a complex musical score,” Tsukuru thinks), which, while not wrong in its observations, only skims the superficial layers of empathy and emotion.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Lit Reactor

Below average
Reviewed by CHRISTOPHER SHULTZ on Aug 12 2014

...the fact remains that a trope is still a trope, and the one Murakami employs here is a tired one...I was expecting the reason for this abandonment to be even more compelling...So Murakami's use of this well-worn device was not only problematic for me, but also disappointing, a let-down.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Full Stop

Good
Reviewed by Sean Carswell on Oct 06 2014

...the real beauty of the books...comes from the intimate relationship Murakami has with his readers. He welcomes us into his world. We get to splash around in the deep end of philosophy and spirituality. He makes us do so much of the work to keep from drowning that we find our own way to swim in those waters. We come out stronger in the end.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

The Express Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by Karthik Keramalu on Aug 31 2014

Just as Tazaki begins to understand himself better, Murakami bids his readers an abrupt farewell with several loose ends and unexplained situations. And while you might easily forget Tazaki and his ‘colourless’ life, Murakami’s powerful words are bound to stay with you for a long time.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Englewood Review of Books

Good
Reviewed by Janet Ursel on Sep 05 2014

It was an intriguing book, and it is easy to see why he generates such a buzz. Colorless Tsukuru is a literary novel, and therefore is concerned with the Big Questions of Life...

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Three Guys One Book

Good
Reviewed by James Costa on Aug 25 2014

...with great relief to report that what’s inside is also another great Murakami novel. It may not be his best but it is certainly one that won’t disappoint.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Vox Magazine

Above average
Reviewed by CALEB O'BRIEN on Aug 21 2014

Without the abundance of surrealism in Murakami’s earlier works, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage feels somewhat diminished. Nonetheless, the novel becomes an insightful, meditative study on the immense power of human bonds to shape a life and the consequences when those bonds are sundered.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Hindustan Times

Above average
Reviewed by Viddhi Arora on Sep 03 2014

The story relies more on psychological realism. Most of the action happens inside the brain or recollected during his conversations with Sara. This shift in style also makes it a darker and more intense experience.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

http://skrishnasbooks.com

Good
Reviewed by SWAPNA KRISHNA · on Aug 11 2014

I absolutely loved my first experience reading Murakami and will definitely be going back and reading his other books I’ve heard so many great things about. I loved getting to know his characters and being along for the ride with this book.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Readings

Excellent
Reviewed by Ingrid Josephine on Aug 12 2014

This novel is Murakami’s most tightly focused yet. Fans and new readers alike will be rewarded by this universal story – it speaks of our connection with others and the decisions and sacrifices we make.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Lit Stack

Good
Reviewed by Sharon Browning on Oct 02 2014

There was a point in Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage where I wasn’t sure I was enjoying the experience...But it’s one of the few books I’ve read that have stayed crystal sharp in my sensibilities even weeks after reading it, rather than fading into gist and generalities...To me, that speaks volumes in the quality of a book...

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Literary Exploration

Good
Reviewed by MICHAEL KITTO on Nov 13 2014

While Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage was far from perfect, there are some weird and awkward moments in the writing that I believe is synonymous with his writing style but I found this a captivating read.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Book Chatter

Good
Reviewed by Ti on Sep 18 2014

As a long time fan, I find that this novel is a mix of old and new. It’s much more straight-forward in the telling. There are a couple of elements that could be fantastical in nature, but overall, the story is simply told. The themes that I’ve come to expect from Murakami are all here.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Bibliophile By the Sea

Excellent
Reviewed by Diane on Aug 15 2014

I really enjoyed this novel. It didn't feel as surreal as some of the author's other books, but it was fully engaging, and enjoyable. A few erotic dreams, a conversation with a stranger that vanishes, all add to the mystique of the story.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Book'd Out

Below average
Reviewed by shelleyrae on Aug 23 2014

Essentially this seems to me to be lad lit (think Nick Hornby), perhaps given gravitas primarily because the protagonist, and the author, is Japanese. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the story of Tsukuru’s journey to make peace with his past and redefine his sense of self, but I was largely underwhelmed by the whole thing.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Literary Treats

Good
on Aug 11 2014

...a musicality and a strong sense of poetry to Murakami’s language, even in translation, and this, more than his other books, made me wish I could read the original Japanese.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Everyday eBook

Good
Reviewed by Kaycie Hall on Aug 12 2014

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage perfectly describes the strangeness of confronting demons, of encountering past friends, and realizing that an event that changed your life seldom crosses their minds anymore. I think people will be able to relate to Tsukuru...

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Of Books and Reading

Above average
on Aug 17 2014

It is mostly confusing in parts, but if you let go of those notions and read it the way it is meant to be read, then you will get to see the other side of Murakami.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Women 24

Good
Reviewed by Women24 on Oct 31 2014

you’ll love it - even if you can barely admit that it wasn’t quite as good as one of your other favourites. It’s still Murakami. It’s still magical and weird and wonderful.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Bookmunch

Above average
on Aug 13 2014

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage is far more typical. Certain other reviewers have taken issue with the translation...but I didn’t feel that disappointment this time out.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

http://flavorwire.com

Above average
Reviewed by Jesse Jarnow on Aug 12 2014

“As always, doing this calmed him. Time passed, smoothly, homogeneously.” The same could be said without the slightest bit of condescension about the pleasing effect of Haruki Murakami novels, running like clockwork since 1979.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Booktopia Blog

Good
Reviewed by Andrew Cattanach on Aug 24 2014

Murakami’s prose has always enthralled me, and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is no exception. His overall tone remains one of the most difficult to pin down in literature, with gorgeous flourishes routinely intercepted by the sort of stark language that belongs in an IKEA catalogue. That, however, is his gift.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

The Speculative Scotsman

Good
Reviewed by Niall Alexander on Aug 22 2014

The author has carefully corralled his quirks in order to refocus on the human element sorely lacking from his last vast narrative...Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage marks a moving new chapter in Haruki Murakami's increasingly incredible career.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

http://www.dawn.com

Above average
Reviewed by Ammara Khan on Oct 12 2014

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is a deeply moving novel that reveals in intense detail and remarkable characterisation the irrevocable effects of traumatic adolescent experiences. And along this quest Tsukuru slowly emerges as a rather colourful individual.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

MBTB's Mystery Book Blog

Good
Reviewed by BARBARA TOM on Sep 25 2014

Murakami takes us on a journey with Tsukuru into the psychology of friendship and ego. It is compelling. Even Murakami’s little asides — for example, about birds and helicopters — prove useful in understanding Tsukuru’s ego.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Biblioklept

Below average
Reviewed by Edwin Turner on Nov 09 2014

...the life force of the characters—their spirit, if I may—seems tepid, clichéd—boring. In the end, I just don’t care. I guess I just don’t get Murakami, man.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Buzzy Mag

Above average
Reviewed by Adam Armstrong on Oct 07 2014

In its first week alone in Japan, the novel went through eight printings and sold over a million copies. Colorless isn’t vintage Murakami, it is something new, but still something that will leave a deep impression on the reader.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Backlisted

Above average
on Sep 01 2014

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is not among Murakami’s best or most imaginative works, but it is enjoyable for what it is: an exercise in detailing one person’s quest toward self-confidence and self-awareness.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

chasing bawa

Good
on Jul 19 2013

I am certain that Murakami was successful in touching my mind and heart at a deep level with his new novel again this time and made me react to it in many parts. Probably even more so because it had to do more purely with human relationships as well as life and death.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

http://dolcebellezza.net

Above average
Reviewed by Bellezza on Aug 21 2014

...tuskuru means “to make or build.” It is a name which perfectly fits a character who is able to build train stations, and more importantly, who must build meaning into his life again.

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Bibliophilic Monologues

Below average
Reviewed by Nafiza on Oct 28 2014

So yeah, definitely not one of my favourite of Murakami’s works. But I have six more books to read by him and hopefully by the time I’m done, he’ll have written one I can wholly enjoy. Though I do wonder if the book reads differently and has a different effect in Japanese. Maybe there are cultural nuances..

Read Full Review of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and ...

Reader Rating for Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage
76%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 1432 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

User Review

Alessandro Spiganti 12 Sep 2014

Rated the book as 2.5 out of 5

User Review

Işıl 9 Aug 2017

Rated the book as 4 out of 5

Işıl

Işıl 10 Aug 2017

Liked the book

Carolyn Quach

Carolyn Quach 15 Mar 2015

Added the book to want to read list

×