I read this book in one sitting. I couldn't put it down. I'm normally a cynic when it comes to love stories, and I think this is the only love story to have ever moved me and evoke a whole lot of emotion inside of me that I'm not used to feeling.
I loved that Murakami's writing is lyrical and effortless, and the book is heart-warming and strangely romantic, but heartbreaking at the same time. It made me smile/laugh one minute and cry the next. I couldn't reason 100% with the main character's choices at the end, but I think it's unfair to assume everyone would make the same decisions in life etc., and I absolutely loved that it didn't have a "happy ending". Is the story predictable? Sure, maybe, in some ways, but in life everyone is predictable. It's the journey that doesn't make it predictable, and Murakami made that journey for me an incredibly enjoyable one.
It is very melancholic, though, and I did find one of the characters annoying, so if you're into books where everything is perfect and has a happy ending, and if you have to love all the characters in the book to love the book, Norwegian Wood isn't for you. It also isn't the book for you if you aren't into thinking about life/death or other depressing things, or if you're not into reflecting about people or the human condition. Also, based on reading the other reviews, it seems it makes a difference if you have an awareness of the Japanese culture, i.e. people who aren't acquainted with Japanese culture don't seem to like this novel as much as Murakami's other novels. I appreciated this novel a lot and everything in it made sense to me, but I am intimately acquainted with the culture. I suppose a lot of people don't, simply because they don't understand the way Japanese people work/think/talk, so they might find it unnatural and find it hard to understand the decisions the characters make or how they speak.
But overall, an amazing book and one that I suspect will stay with me for a while.