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A mesmerising mystery story about friendship from the internationally bestselling author of Norwegian Wood

A mesmerising mystery story about friendship from the internationally bestselling author of Norwegian Wood and 1Q84

Tsukuru Tazaki had four best friends at school. By chance all of their names contained a colour. The two boys were called Akamatsu, meaning ‘red pine’, and Oumi, ‘blue sea’, while the girls’ names were Shirane, ‘white root’, and Kurono, ‘black field’. Tazaki was the only last name with no colour in it.

One day Tsukuru Tazaki’s friends announced that they didn't want to see him, or talk to him, ever again.

Since that day Tsukuru has been floating through life, unable to form intimate connections with anyone. But then he meets Sara, who tells him that the time has come to find out what happened all those years ago.


A naturalistic coming-of-age story… sprinkled with strange images and written in a hauntingly mournful key


[Murakmi’s] elegant, frugal prose creates a tale of courage and hope as Tsukuru tries to unlock the secrets of his past


Critics have variously likened Murakami to Raymond Carver, Raymond Chandler, Arthur C Clarke, Don DeLillo, Philip K Dick, Bret Easton Ellis and Thomas Pynchon – a roster so ill-assorted to suggest he is in fact an original

New York Times

A rich and even brilliant piece of work… Genuinely resonant and satisfying

James Walton, Spectator

This is a book for both the new and experienced reader....[it] reveals another side of Murakami, one not so easy to pin down. Incurably restive, ambiguous and valiantly struggling toward a new level of maturation

Patti Smith, New York Times

Murakami’s prose seamlessly fuses folksiness and profundity… A harmonious blend of naivety and riddling sophistication’

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

Neat, economical, even minimalist... surprisingly painful and poignant

Literary Review

Murakami is like a magician who explains what he’s doing as he performs the trick and still makes you believe he has supernatural powers . . . But while anyone can tell a story that resembles a dream, it's the rare artist, like this one, who can make us feel that we are dreaming it ourselves

New York Times Book Review

Delicately crafted masterpiece

The List

Remarkable… Spellbinding… [Murakami] is ever alert to minds and hearts…and to humanity’s abiding and indomitable spirit

Marie Arana, Washington Post

This may be a radical change in style for the author, but not in quality


A book for both the new and experienced Murakami reader… There are moments of epiphany gracefully expressed… Reveals another side of Murakami

Patti Smith, Scotsman

A fascinating exploration of who we are [and] the delusions necessary to navigate the world around us

Irish Independent

A wonderfully imaginative and intimate book

Viv Groskop, Red

Infused with emotional generosity and the spirit of forgiveness

Ruth Scurr, Times Literary Supplement

Murakami has once again produced a perfect gem

Good Book Guide

Murakami weaved his mesmeric story-telling power once again with this new book…but still bearing the unmistakable purity of prose, economy of expression and simplicity of style that characterise his writing


A mysterious story about friendship, heartbreak and confronting the past, this book is surreal, existential and, therefore, classic Murakami

Dan Lewis, Travel Guide

The tale is as absorbing as the prose is beautiful

Good Book Guide

This is classic Murakami, an isolated character struggling to make his way through a world both deceptively simple and utterly fantastical, his story told through prose infused with all the beauty and meaning of a Kyoto tea ceremony

Freya McClements, Irish Times

His versatility and ability to craft a story is spellbinding… Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is a fine story that held my attention until the end.

Yomi Segun Steven, Nudge

Loneliness, sexual ambiguity and emotional repression- the perfect recipe for a novel that put Murakami back on my list of unputdownable authors

John Kampfner, Observer

Kafkaesque, unusual and packed with sex and confusion, this is high-end prose… Murakami is remarkably prolific… A weird and very wonderful descent into the madness of contemporary Tokyo.

Paul Critcher, Geographical

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    May 1, 2015


    304 pages

    RRP $26.99

    Online retailers

    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • Fishpond
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.co.nz

  • EBook


    August 12, 2014

    Vintage Digital

    304 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle NZ
    • iBooks NZ
    • Google Play EBook NZ
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia NZ