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'Norwegian Wood' debuts at Venice Film Festival

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I doubt that a book as bad as this is going to make a good movie. But then, it's happened before, so I could be wrong!

But why in the world hire a foreign director to make a movie in Japan in Japanese?? That's like saying that there are no good directors in Japan, which is frankly insulting. I'm not even Japanese or a director.

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Don't post spoilers.. you just killed it for people who want to read/see the movie.

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I recently finished the first half of the Japanese version of the book. Although it was recommended to me by a friend who thought I would like it because I liked Kirino Natsuo's "Grotesque" (and a lot of other Kirino works), I have found it a struggle to continue reading the book. Although I can empathize with the characters, I basically could tell from the foreshadowing at the beginning of the book that Naoko would end up killing herself, and otherwise the plot has (so far) simply failed to draw me in emotionally. There have definitely been some nice moments of humor, such as Watanabe-kun's interaction with his roommate 特攻隊 (I don't know what his name is in the English version). I will of course read the second half, but would love to know from Murakami aficionados whether this book is fairly representative of Murakami's other works.

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How is the title 'obvious'? It's a beautiful title, aptly named for a beautiful novel. The attempted superiority of these comments, over a celebrated author, is almost funny. Have you ever written a successful novel?

I'm not attempting superiority and I don7t wish to write a successful novel. That song, like many Beatles' songs, is very special, to me. If I were to buy a book making references to it, in whichever context, I think I would welcome a book with an original title, not an obvious one and see it unfolding along the story, rather than revealing it on the book cover. I can't explain too well. I enjoy learning the Japanese language, it7d be nice to read more books but banana yoshimoto was disappointing.

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@snowgirl

do you not think that Murakami, who is bilingual, (if not tri...) gave it the name he did in Japanese, on purpose?

Please read my post again. I was talking about the song title, not the novel. I'm sure Murakami had nothing at all to do with the mistaken translation of the song; that would have been someone working at a record company.

I'm also a huge Murakami fan; I learnt to read Japanese through his essays, travel pieces and later, novels. I wouldn't dream of slagging him off.

And I'm working on my novel. I'll send you a copy when it's finished :)

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How is the title 'obvious'? It's a beautiful title, aptly named for a beautiful novel. And @ kyushujoe: do you not think that Murakami, who is bilingual, (if not tri...) gave it the name he did in Japanese, on purpose? The attempted superiority of these comments, over a celebrated author, is almost funny. Have you ever written a successful novel??

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no i wont, but thanks for the comment. i am not angry, i am annoyed at the obviousness of the title.

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thats too bad, this is one example that they should. Goes to show how lack of originality capitalizes on the success of others, to me it is a form of plagiarism. I would never read that book or watch the movie. If the author would make a reference to the song in the book I would have more respect for him. How blatant and arrogant of him. And the director is the same. How dare he categorize the depth of the song, it has and will be around for longer than his movies ever will. :b

Are you actually being serious? You are getting angry because a song title is used as the name of the book? What an odd comment, I can only hope you are joking.

Of course the title to a Japanese audience has no meaning outside of the Beatles' song, so it is not plagiarizing, but quoting the name. The book is set in the late 60s and the song Norwegian Wood makes a number of appearances. At one time it was played about 40 times in succession, so you could argue that it is quite an appropriate title for the book.

But as you would never read the book, you will never know, will you?

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thanks, nemur.

yeah kyushujoe, you know your music! That7s exactly what irked me abt this article, the director's opinion of this song. and Murakami using it like he did (ok I get it but dont like it). In my country that would be the same as a Pakistani (random choice) writing a book entitled 'Ela e' carioca'...weird!

ah well...

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“It’s only that the song is too soft, too cute, too sentimental."

I can't believe I read this.

The song is about a guy trying to get laid, being led on by a woman who invites him home and then laughs in his face and tells him to "sleep in the bath". The guy then takes revenge by burning her house down. Which part of that is "cute" or "sentimental"?

And another thing (while I'm ranting)...the song title in Japanese is a complete mistranslation. "Norue no Mori" means "Norwegian Forest". The "Wood" in the Beatles song means "timber"; the woman is boasting about the quality of her furniture ("Isn't it good? Norwegian wood."). So the Japanese title should be "Norue no Zaimoku".

Grrrrr. Rant over

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XXXXX, most Japanese people donT know the Beatles song at all.

It is absolutely normal in this context to give any kind of title. Whatever Murakami thinks is right.

As for the song, I think the book is making it much more popular than the other way round.

I personally, hate Murakami and all of his masturbation literature, but in this case the writer is absolutely free to give such a title.

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Well, no work, be it book or movie will ever please anyone. "Norwegian Wood" was the first Murakami book i read, and i could identify with the character. Looking forward for the movie, mostly because i have liked the vietnamese-french directors movies for years before i even heard of Murakami. Definitely one of the talented moviemakers of today. Will be interesting to see how this movie is compared to his other beautiful movies.

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thepro, I would ask that you elaborate on how it was a "terrible" book

It features a dull, emotionless protagonist and a bunch of other depressing characters that I could feel absolutely zero empathy for or emotional contact with. And then everyone kills themselves. Yeah, great stuff.

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He does make a reference to the song in the book.

of course he does, thats not the point. I would be glad if that was all he did, not put the song title as the book title, thats lame. IMO

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He does make a reference to the song in the book. And I have to disagree with the director saying the song is "too cute" for the story. I think the mood of the song fits perfectly. But I'm still excited to see it! I think the book is good. Not my favorite Murakami book, but the first I ever read.

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NO titles of any type have copyright protection

thats too bad, this is one example that they should. Goes to show how lack of originality capitalizes on the success of others, to me it is a form of plagiarism. I would never read that book or watch the movie. If the author would make a reference to the song in the book I would have more respect for him. How blatant and arrogant of him. And the director is the same. How dare he categorize the depth of the song, it has and will be around for longer than his movies ever will. :b

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The book was great. I hope the movie can hold up with it.

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thepro, I would ask that you elaborate on how it was a "terrible" book, but you never do anyways. I read it (in Japanese) and quite enjoyed it.

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That said, I do like Tran a lot and Kikuchi is pretty talented, so this could be a case of film being > than the book. Helps when the book sucks.

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Thank you, thepro. I just read it for the first time a few weeks back and it was absolute shite. I actually dig some of his short fiction and he comes across as a pretty cool guy in interviews/speeches. Are there any other of his novels that you do recommend, b/c this being my first, I can't imagine I'll ever try another.

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God that was a terrible book

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I love the book so much, as good as any movie version may be, I'll never watch it, even a preview.

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@XXXXX - NO titles of any type have copyright protection.

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Is it allowed to publish books using song titles btw??

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“It’s only that the song is too soft, too cute, too sentimental. What happens with the characters is really stronger than that song,” Tran said. “I put the song at the end of the movie because it works like the beginning of the book.”

This doesn't make sense at all, what nonsense. Maybe he is too full of himself xD

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Great book. Can't wait to see this interpretation of it.

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