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''Norwegian Wood'' (Japanese: ノルウェイの森, ''Noruwei no Mori'') is a 1987 ComingOfAge novel by the Japanese author HarukiMurakami. The publication of this book led Murakami to unwanted superstardom in Japan; so much so that he eventually left for the United States and Germany. Fans of his works often note that ''Norwegian Wood'' as a novel is far removed from his ordinary works. It is a fairly straightforward tale of adolescent romance and the protagonist, Toru Watanabe, is very much an {{Everyman}} as opposed to other protagonists in works such as ''Literature/KafkaOnTheShore'' or ''Literature/AfterDark''.

The plot follows a love triangle among Watanabe, his childhood love [[FragileFlower Naoko]] and a girl he meets at university, the outspoken and lively [[ManicPixieDreamGirl Midori]]. Each girl represents different things to Watanabe but he has a hard time choosing.

Some critics consider ''Norwegian Wood'' to be semi-autobiographical but the author has flat out denied this, describing ''Norwegian Wood'' as a "challenge" that he did to see if he could write a novel with none of the themes that have become his trademark in later works.

A [[TheFilmOfTheBook film adaptation]] was made in 2010 by the Vietnamese director Anh Hung Tran. It was released in December 2010 in Japan, as well as festival showings and small releases in Canada and Italy. The cast features Rinko Kikuchi, KenichiMatsuyama and Creator/ShigesatoItoi. The score was composed by [[RadioHead Jonny Greenwood]].

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!!Tropes found in ''Norwegian Wood'' include:
* AdaptationDistillation: The film trims a great deal from the story, omitting large chunks of {{Backstory}} (especially Reiko's), giving many minor characters less prominence (such as Storm Trooper) and cutting out numerous events that don't significantly advance the core LoveTriangle plot (such as Watanabe and Nagasawa's numerous one-night stands, several of which are depicted in detail in the novel).
* AllThereInTheManual: Kizuki's visit to a hospitalized Naoko via motorcycle is actually elaborated upon in "Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman".
* AuthorAppeal: Several references to Sixties jazz and pop, ''TheGreatGatsby'', ''The Magic Mountain'' and various obscure WesternLiterature works.
* BastardBoyfriend: Nagasawa to Hatsumi.
* BettyAndVeronica: On face value Midori is the more exotic, fun-loving Veronica and Naoko the old, childhood friend Betty, but Murakami plays with this throughout the novel and reader's perspective can be expected to flip.
* BrokenBird: Naoko.
* ChickMagnet: Nagasawa and, to a lesser extent, Watanabe.
** Being a bit of a {{Jerkass}}, Nagasawa is more of TheCasanova.
* ComingOfAge: The novel is a quiet study of this.
* ConsummateLiar: Reiko's piano student.
* CoolBigSis: Reiko Ishida, Naoko's confidant at the centre. [[TheOjou Hatsumi]] also, as a wish fulfillment for Watanabe.
** [[spoiler: Naoko's actual older sister was also one of these till she committed suicide and Naoko found her body.]]
* ADateWithRosiePalms: There are numerous lengthy discussions of masturbation in the novel.
* DeathOfTheHypotenuse: Subverted. [[spoiler:Naoko]] kills herself, leaving Watanabe free to pursue [[spoiler:Midori]]. He calls her and tells her he wants to be with her, [[spoiler:but the story ultimately ends on a cliffhanger, leaving it ambiguous whether they ultimately got together or not.]]
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler:Sadly, Naoko, Hatsumi and Storm Trooper. Also Kizuki, whose death provides the catalyst for events in the novel. The reader never gets an inkling towards what caused his suicide, though. There's also Naoko's older sister whose suicide is also left unexplained. The novel seems to run on this trope.]]
** [[spoiler: It's hinted that Kizuki's suicide may have been related to his physical relationship with Naoko.]]
* EatingLunchAlone: How Midori first meets Watanabe. Unusually, he doesn't really mind being by himself that much.
* EpiphanicPrison: The Ami Hostel, to an extent.
* TheEveryman: Watanabe.
* {{Foil}}: Nagasawa to Watanabe, despite the former's claims to the contrary.
* FragileFlower: Naoko.
* FramingDevice: The novel opens with Watanabe hearing the titular song on a plane to Germany and being reminded of the events of the plot, writing them down as a kind of therapeutic exercise. The film omits this, even though it's clear that Watanabe is narrating the events with the benefit of hindsight.
* GenreAdultery: This book was a ''major'' departure from Murakami's earlier whacky, GenreBusting experimental novels. It was his first novel to become a bestseller and made him a celebrity in Japan practically overnight - much to his displeasure, resulting in him leaving the country for many years. He has yet to write another "straightforward" novel such as this one.
* HeroicBSOD: Watanabe after [[spoiler:Naoko's suicide]].
* HoneyTrap: See the TeensAreMonsters trope below.
* {{Jerkass}}: Nagasaswa. Intelligent, charming and outwardly a perfect gentleman, but completely indifferent to the feelings of others.
* LipstickLesbian: [[spoiler:Reiko's piano student.]]
* TheLoinsSleepTonight: The DistaffCounterpart to this trope. [[spoiler:Naoko is incapable of getting properly aroused in sexual situations, and as a consequence is unable to have sex with Kizuki, even though she wants to. This contributes to his eventual suicide. Naoko fears that she will never be able to become physically aroused, which, in turn, is a major reason she eventually kills herself as well.]]
* LoveHurts
* LoveTriangle: Watanabe, Naoko and Midori.
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: Midori is this but unusually for the trope Watanabe doesn't realise this until near the end of the novel. It's played with insofar as she's a more rounded character than one would expect for this trope, and has just as many neuroses as anyone else in the novel.
* MayDecemberRomance: Toward the end of the novel, Reiko visits Watanabe and sleeps with him after [[spoiler:Naoko's death]]. It's an essentially platonic act however, and there's no suggestion that they pursue a relationship afterwards.
* MillionairePlayboy: Nagasawa who befriends Toru at their dorm. He also doubles as the ImmatureHedonist.
* NoEnding: [[spoiler:After Naoko's death, Watanabe calls Midori asking whether she'll forgive him and whether they can try again for a relationship. She gives a cryptic response of "Where are you?" and the novel ends with Watanabe trying to answer the question in his inner monologue]]
* PluckyGirl
* [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Ordinary University Student]]: Watanabe.
* RomanAClef: Explicitly denied by WordOfGod.
* SchoolUniformsAreTheNewBlack: Several minor characters in the novel are treated with derision for wearing the university uniform even though it isn't obligatory. Storm Trooper gets his nickname this way as the other students assume he's a fascist (in truth, he just doesn't want to have to worry about clothes).
* TheSixties: The setting.
* TheSociopath: [[spoiler:Reiko's piano student. She lies constantly, even about things that don't matter, has a magnetic personality (to the point of successfully seducing a heterosexual woman), is sexually aggressive, and has absolutely no empathy. Reiko even describes her face as seeming painted on, with nothing behind her eyes whatsoever.]]
** Watanabe hints that Nagasawa may have tendencies akin to this also.
* StartsWithASuicide: Not the book itself, but the Naoko and Watanabe's story definitely kicks off with Kizuki's suicide.
* StepfordSmiler: Hatsumi, Nagasawa's long-suffering girlfriend. [[spoiler:She pretends not to mind that Nagasawa is sleeping around, but two years after Nagasawa graduates and goes abroad, leaving her behind, she marries another man. Two years after the marriage however, she kills herself. Naoko also became this after Kizuki died.]]
* TeensAreMonsters: [[spoiler:The girl who destroyed Reiko Ishida's life. A pathological liar, she tries to seduce Reiko during a piano training session and when the former rebuffs her she lies to her mother that Reiko assaulted her. This is before declaring to Reiko that she had known Reiko was a lesbian as soon as she saw her and implies that the whole thing had been a trap. The lie spreads throughout the neighbourhood and drives Reiko to leave her husband and daughter and go to Ami Hostel in the first place.]]
* TitledAfterTheSong: After Music/TheBeatles song; it's one of Naoko's favorites. Watanabe hearing a version of it on an international flight triggers memories of Naoko and kicks off the novel.
* TokyoUniversity: Most of the novel is set during Watanabe's time as a student in Tokyo.
* UptightLovesWild: An aversion. [[spoiler:Midori's former boyfriend dislikes her approach to life and disapproves of the most minor things. This is even Lampshaded by Watanabe in his inner monologue, wondering why a guy like that would want a girlfriend like Midori.]]
* WackyFratboyHijinx: There's a bit of this here and there. Nagasawa achieved his reputation as BigManOnCampus after resolving a dispute between two groups of students which almost resulted in physical violence. How did he resolve the dispute? One of the student groups insisted he eat three whole slugs.
* WhamLine: [[spoiler: "Reiko wrote me several letters after Naoko's death."]]
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