It's technically the 27th here in Japan but I thought I'd give you all some time to make sure you had read all the way through Norwegian Wood. :)
So. What did you think?
I've put a few more specific questions in the extended entry to avoid spoilers for anyone who hasn't finished the book.
Does it feel like a Japanese story? Or just a typical story with Japanese names. When we discussed "The diamond age" we talked about jargon - do Japanese words in the story feel like jargon?
To me, one of the beautiful things about Murakami's worlds are that they're as real to me whether I know where (or what) they're talking about or not. I feel that this story could have taken place in New York, or Madrid or anywhere and it wouldn't have affected the story, only the names.
The characters are affected by the Beatles' music without ever completely understanding the lyrics. Had the story been set in an English speaking country, do you think the story would have changed?
I think it would have. I can't imagine the same story with a bunch of kids from my neck of the woods (SouthWest U.S.A.) listening and playing Los Lobos tunes with the same sort of feeling. As another example, I don't think the novel would have read as well if it had been Elvis that they were all into. Or Miles Davis. I think the fact that they didn't always understand the lyrics is important but I'm a t a loss as to how...
Finally, for my initial part, if you're looking for further reading, I highly recommend South of the Border, West of the Sun, also by Murakami.