Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
(Shikisai o motanai Tazaki Tsukuru to, kare no junrei no toshi)[n. 1]
|Cover artist||Morris Louis|
|Genre||Realist novel, Bildungsroman|
|Media type||Print (hardcover)|
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (Japanese: 色彩を持たない多崎つくると、彼の巡礼の年 Hepburn: Shikisai o motanai Tazaki Tsukuru to, kare no junrei no toshi?)[n. 1] is the thirteenth[n. 2] novel by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. Published on 12 April 2013 in Japan, it sold one million[n. 3] copies in one month. It was Murakami's first release since his three-volume novel 1Q84 (2009–2010).
The English-language edition, translated by Philip Gabriel, was released worldwide on 12 August 2014. It topped the US bestsellers list of BookScan, NPR, and The New York Times in the "Hardcover Fiction" category.
On 16 February 2013, the publishing company Bungeishunjū announced that Haruki Murakami's new novel was to be published in April. On 15 March, the title "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage" and the release date of 12 April were disclosed.
Preorders were placed starting that day, and the sales reached 10 thousand copies on Amazon.co.jp within 11 days. It took one day fewer than its predecessor, 1Q84, to become the fastest selling book on Amazon.co.jp. The publisher prepared 300,000 copies, the largest number of first edition copies of a hardcover book in the company's history. Furthermore, the number of copies to be printed over the course of three more print runs before the release date was expected to reach 450,000 copies.
Prior to the book's release, statements such as Haruki Murakami's messages on 28 February and 15 March, were issued to convey fragments of information over the course of seven statements. However, details of the novel were not disclosed. Furthermore, galleys, usually given to other reviewers, newspapers, and bookstores before the publication, were not created. The knowledge of the content of the book was limited to a small number of people.
With the book's release date announced to be at midnight on Friday 12 April 2013, late-night bookstores in metropolitan Tokyo which were to start selling the book at 0:00 a.m. witnessed long lines of more than 150 people. Seven days after the release, the book had been printed 8 times for a total of over one million copies in print, reportedly[n. 3] sold during the following month. In November, point-of-sale information firm Oricon certified 985,000 copies sold.
In the two months before release, dozens of advance reviews were published (online or in print), ranging chronologically from Kirkus (15 June online, 1 July in print) to The Observer (27 and 28 July) to The New York Times (5 and 10 August) to The Australian (9 August) to The Japan Times (9 and 10 August), among others (details in External links, § Press reviews).
Chapter 5 of the translated novel appeared as the standalone "Haida's Story" on 27 July 2014 at Slate.
The English translation was released worldwide on Tuesday 12 August 2014 in all formats (print, digital, audio). As in Japan the year before, some bookstores held UK "midnight launches" and US "midnight parties" in the last hours of Monday 11 August 2014. They could thus sell the new book at 0:01 a.m. to pre-order customers ranging from dozens to hundreds, lined in the streets or gathered at evening events (such as film projections, quiz games, raffles, or karaoke contests); other stores chose early openings with free coffee at 8 a.m.; in Australia and New Zealand, an online competition in the preceding weeks offered to win a $3000 travel voucher (to go on a "pilgrimage" of one's own).
The book topped several US bestsellers lists from its first week in the "Hardcover Fiction" category, including:
- on BookScan's Top 10, staying four weeks (#1 the first week, then #2, #3, and #10)
- on NPR 's Top 15, staying at least ten weeks (#1 the first three weeks, then #3 two weeks, #4 four weeks, #5, as of 25 October 2014[update])
- on The New York Times 's Top 20, staying eight weeks (#1 the first two weeks, then #2, #6, #10, #16, #14, and #18)
Murakami supported the launch with two public appearances in the UK (his firsts since 2003): an open talk and signing on 23 and 24 August 2014 at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in Scotland, and a signing on 30 August at a Piccadilly bookstore in London.
- Original edition
|This section requires expansion. (August 2014)|
- English edition
The critical reception was generally positive, with some mixed responses. Review aggregator iDreamBooks gives it (as of 25 October 2014[update]) a 77% meta-score from 14 critic reviews (78% with 11 positive, 3 negative) and 570 user ratings (76% positive). Meta-reviewer Complete Review summarized 19 press reviews as, "No real consensus; many find it winning, many irritated by too much about it/Murakami's writing" (in addition to their own assessment, "B+ : typically Murakamian shallow depth, but goes down very nice and easy").
|This section requires expansion. (August 2014)|
In this Bildungsroman of the realist kind (hints of the author's magical realism are left to dreams and tales), the third-person narrative follows the past and present of Tsukuru Tazaki, a man who wants to understand why his life was derailed sixteen years ago.
In the early 1990s in his home town of Nagoya, the young Tsukuru was a fan of train stations. In high school, the two boys and two girls that were his four best friends all had a color as part of their surnames, leaving him the "colorless" one of their "orderly, harmonious community". But one day in 1995, during his second year in college, his friends abruptly cut all relationships with him. That never-explained, Kafkaesque ostracism left him feeling suicidal then guilty "as an empty person, lacking in color and identity"; and when his only college friend vanished the next semester, he felt "fated to always be alone".
Now in 2011's Tokyo, the 36-year-old engineer Tazaki works for a railroad company and builds stations. His new girlfriend Sara spurs him "to come face-to-face with the past, not as some naive, easily wounded boy, but as a grown-up" and seek his former friends to mend the relationships and find out why they rejected him, because she won't commit to him unless he can move past that issue. And so he will visit them one by one, first back in Nagoya, then in rural Finland, on a quest for truth and a pilgrimage for happiness.
- Tsukuru Tazaki
- Tsukuru Tazaki (多崎 つくる (written 多崎 作 in the family register) Tazaki Tsukuru?) The protagonist, his given name is a homophone for "To make or build" and his family name doesn't contain any color symbol. The character's current age is 36. Single. Liked train stations since childhood, and now makes a living designing train stations at a railway company in Tokyo.
- Kei Akamatsu
- Kei Akamatsu (赤松 慶 Akamatsu Kei?) He was a high-school friend of Tsukuru, and nicknamed Aka or "Red" (his family name means "Red Pine"). Now a seminar seller still in Nagoya, he has a successful business that offers employee training to big companies in the area. A closet homosexual, he feels stifled in little Nagoya.
- Yoshio Oumi
- Yoshio Oumi (青海 悦夫 Oumi Yoshio?) He was a high-school friend of Tsukuru, and nicknamed Ao[n. 4] or "Blue" (his family name means "Blue Sea"). Now a car dealer still in Nagoya, he sells Toyota's luxury car Lexus.
- Yuzuki Shirane
- Yuzuki Shirane (白根 柚木 Shirane Yuzuki?) She was a high-school friend of Tsukuru, and nicknamed Shiro or "White" (her family name means "White Root"). She became a private piano teacher and lived in Hamamatsu, before being strangled to death in an unsolved murder six years ago.
- Eri Kurono Haatainen
- Eri Kurono (黒埜 恵里 Kurono Eri?) She was a high-school friend of Tsukuru, and nicknamed Kuro or "Black" (her family name means "Black Meadow"[n. 5]). Now a pottery artist, she married Edvard Haatainen, a Finn who came to Japan to learn pottery, then she moved to live in Finland as Eri Kurono Haatainen (エリ・クロノ・ハアタイネン?) and now has two daughters.
- Sara Kimoto
- Sara Kimoto (木元 沙羅 Kimoto Sara?) Tsukuru's current love interest, her given name means "sal tree" and her family name "Under the tree" (or "tree base" as a non-name). Two years older than Tsukuru, she lives in Tokyo and works for a travel agency.
- Fumiyaki Haida
- Fumiyaki Haida (灰田 文紹 Haida Fumiyaki?) One of Tsukuru's few friends from college, his family name means "Gray Paddy".[n. 5] Two years younger than Tsukuru, he disappeared from the university before the beginning of the new semester.
- Haida's father
- Haida's father was a college teacher. In the 1960s, he took a leave of absence from school to travel Japan and worked odd jobs. While being employed as handyman at a small hot-springs inn, he met Midorikawa, whose strange tale he later told his son.
- Midorikawa (緑川?) A jazz pianist from Tokyo, his family name means "Green River". According to the tale of Haida's father, he only played after placing a small bag on the piano, carried a deadly burden, and could see the color aura of people.
- The stationmaster
- He explains to Tsukuru that a lot of strange things are lost and found in his train station. One was a formaldehyde jar containing two severed sixth fingers.
- A young coworker of Tsukuru. Despite his job, his other passion is genetics.
- A younger friend and colleague of Sara. An energetic Finn who works in a Helsinki travel agency. She helps Tsukuru in Finland.
- Edvard Haatainen
- The husband of Eri. A Finn pottery artist. Tsukuru meets him while his wife and children are away.
- The two daughters of Eri and Edvard
- About 3 and 6 year-old. The oldest one was named Yuzu in memory of Eri's deceased friend.
- Chapters 1–3
Tsukuru Tazaki is a 36-year-old man whose defining features are his love of train stations and the fact his four best friends all ceased to speak to him during his second year at university: "Like Jonah in the belly of the whale, Tsukuru had fallen into the bowels of death, one untold day after another, lost in a dark, stagnant void." He now lives in Tokyo and has started seeing a new girlfriend, Sara Kimoto, who works at a travel agency. As he explains to her over dinner, back in Nagoya his high-school friends were called Ao, Aka, Shiro, and Kurono (Japanese for: Mr. Blue, Mr. Red, Ms. White, and Ms. Black), nicknamed after a color in their surname, unlike his "colorless" one. They used to do everything together like the five digits of a hand, until that single phone call one day, when they "announced that they did not want to see him, or talk with him, ever again. It was a sudden, decisive declaration, with no room for compromise. They gave no explanation, not a word, for this harsh pronouncement. And Tsukuru didn't dare ask."
- Chapter 4
After he overcame that loss and suicidal impulses ("Perhaps he didn't commit suicide then because he couldn't conceive of a method that fit the pure and intense feelings he had towards death."), Tsukuru befriended Haida (whose name contains "Gray") at university. They started doing everything together, and listened to classical music such as Franz Liszt's Années de pèlerinage: "Most people see Liszt's piano music as more superficial, and technical. Of course, he has some tricky pieces, but if you listen very carefully [...] you discover a depth to it you don't notice at first. Most of the time it's hidden behind all these embellishments."
- Chapter 5
One evening, Haida told him a strange story about his father: when he was a college student, he took a leave from his studies and worked in a secluded hot-springs inn where he met man who called himself Midorikawa (whose name contains "Green"), a jazz pianist from Tokyo who was incredibly talented: "His playing had the power to physically and viscerally move the listener, to transport you to another world." One evening, Midorikawa told him a strange story about himself: one month ago, he had willingly accepted a "death token" condemning him to die two months later unless he could pass it on to another volunteer, but despite his talent he was tired of his life : this near-death experience had opened for him "the doors of perception", making his last weeks more wonderful than the decades he was giving up, and it also made him able to see the color aura of people. During these tales, Tsukuru sometimes felt a sort of confusion between himself, Haida, his father, and Midorikawa.
- Chapter 6
Later that night, while Haida slept over on his couch, Tsukuru had a strange erotic dream involving both Shiro and Kurono, who then merged and morphed into Haida before the climax. Tsukuru wondered for himself whether it was all a dream, then Haida didn't show up for next semester. All he left behind was the boxed set of Years of Pilgrimage he had lent Tsukuru.
- Chapters 7–9
Sara states that if he wants to progress in his current relationship, he needs to find out what happened to move on emotionally. Since Tsukuru doesn't use the Internet, she'll help him getting started: "We live in a pretty apathetic age, yet we're surrounded by an enormous amount of information about other people. If you feel like it, you can easily gather that information about them. Having said that, we still hardly know anything about people." After using Google and Facebook to locate these former friends, she updates Tsukuru on their current whereabouts and even arranges for his travel tickets.
- Chapter 10
Tsukuru travels to his home town of Nagoya and meets Ao, the former football jock who is now a successful Lexus dealer. From an apologetic Ao, he learns that Shiro had accused Tsukuru of rape, prompting all communications between the friends to cease. Shiro eventually became a successful piano teacher, but six years ago she was found strangled in an unsolved murder case.
- Chapter 11
Several days later, Tsukuru arranges to meet Aka, now a trainer of corporate warriors. A successful but deeply unhappy man, Aka tells him that Shiro's story did not stack up at the time, and that Shiro seemed to have lost her love for life long before she died. Aka himself has issues, having belatedly realized after a failed marriage that he is gay, and feeling rejection from the people of Nagoya, including Ao, who dislike his somewhat shady business, taking up some psychological methods used by the Nazis. Tsukuru reassures Aka that he still cares for him and departs.
- Chapters 12–13
Back at work in Tokyo, Tsukuru and his colleague Sakamoto visit a stationmaster whose strange tale reminds him of Haida's story. After discussing his findings with Sara over dinner, Tsukuru decides he has to know the rest of the story. To do so he must visit the only other surviving member of the friendship group, Kuro, who now lives in Finland with two daughters. While preparing for the visit, Tsukuru goes to buy presents for Kuro's children and sees Sara hand in hand with a middle-aged man, smiling in a way she never did with Tsukuru.
- Chapters 14–15
Filled not with jealousy but with sadness, Tsukuru flies to Finland. In Helsinki, he enlists Sara's friend Olga to help him track down Kuro for an unannounced visit. The next day he drives to Hameenlinna, the rural town where she has her holiday cottage. He first meets her husband, the Finnish potter Edvard Haatainen. When she arrives with her daughters, Edvard takes the latter to do some shopping.
- Chapters 16–17
Tsukuru stays alone with Kuro, now a successful pottery artist. Eri prefers to dispense with nicknames and explains that Yuzu was mentally ill. The rape accusation was a fabrication, but he was cut off as a way of not frontally contradicting Yuzu to enable her to deal with her problems. Eri reveals that she was in love with Tsukuru, which could have played a role in the accusation, but also that Yuzu was actually raped and had a miscarriage, then developed anorexia as a way of never being pregnant again. Eri told him nothing, maybe because he never noticed her love, but mostly to prevent a confrontation with Yuzu. Tsukuru was sacrified to protect Yuzu because the group believed he was the strongest emotionally and could deal with the ban. These redemptive revelations gives lie to Tsukuru's own perception of himself as plain and colorless.
- Chapters 18–19
Tsukuru returns to Japan a wiser man. Against Kurono's advice, he decides to press Sara on whether she is seeing someone else. Sara says she will need three days to reply. After a late-night profession of love by phone-call, the novel ends with Tsukuru still waiting and looking at the traffic in a train station.
- US hardcover (12 August 2014), 386 pages (of 400), Knopf, ISBN 978-0-385-35210-9
- UK hardcover (12 August 2014), 298 pages (of 304), Harvill Secker, ISBN 978-1-84655-833-7
- CA hardcover (12 August 2014), 386 pages (of 400), Bond Street, ISBN 978-0-385-68183-4
- Large-print paperback (12 August 2014), 464 pages (of 480), Random House Large Print, ISBN 978-0-8041-9453-2
- US ebook (12 August 2014), 386 pages (of 400), Knopf, ISBN 978-0-385-35211-6
- UK ebook (12 August 2014), 298 pages (of 304), Vintage Digital, ISBN 978-1-4481-9095-9
- CA ebook (12 August 2014), 208 pages (of 210), Bond Street, ISBN 978-0-385-68184-1
- Compact disc (12 August 2014), read by Bruce Locke, Random House Audio, ISBN 978-0-8041-6673-7
- Audio download (12 August 2014), read by Bruce Locke, Random House Audio, ISBN 978-0-8041-6674-4
All editions use US spelling. The UK edition also apply to Australia (12 August 2014), New Zealand (15 August 2014), India (27 August), and similar territories. The first-print editions contain a sheet of stickers (intended to customize the book jacket). The extra ISBN 978-1-84655-886-3 was a limited, 100-copy "signed edition" 240-page deluxe hardcover (shipped around 18 September 2014).
- Années de pèlerinage (Years of Pilgrimage), a suite of piano pieces by Franz Liszt. Among them, the piece "Première année: Suisse" (First year: Switzerland). Chapter 8, the piece "Le mal du pays" (Homesickness) appears to be an important motif.
- Morris Louis, whose painting "Pillar of Fire" is used for the Japanese cover.
- Its original title is romanized as "Shikisai o motanai Tazaki Tsukuru to, kare no junrei no toshi" (using Hepburn romanization), but is sometimes seen as "Shikisai wo motanai Tazaki Tsukuru to, kare no junrei no toshi" (using Nihon-shiki romanization, with wo instead of o). It bears "Tazaki Tsukuru" because Japanese names have the family name (Tazaki) come before the personal name (Tsukuru).
- Press reports calling it his 14th novel were not accurate: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki is Murakami's 13th novel (counting from his 1st Hear the Wind Sing to his 12th 1Q84).
- Press reports claiming that "1 million copies vanished from bookstores throughout Japan the day it went on sale" or that "the novel sold over one million copies its first week in Japan" were not accurate: one week after release, the publisher only reported one million copies printed (not sold). One month after release, the publisher claimed one million copies sold during that month. Nine months after release, point-of-sale information firm Oricon certified 985,000 copies sold.
- The color ao (青?, "blue, blue-green") is often pronounced ou in names, hence this surname's romanization being "Oumi" instead of "Aomi".
- Kurono means "Black Meadow" or "Black Field", from kuro (黒?, "black, dark") and no (埜?, "meadow, dry field"). And Haida means "Gray Paddy" or "Gray Field", from hai (灰?, "gray, ash") and da (田?, "paddy, wet field"). Explaining them as "Black Field" and "Gray Field" would hide the original difference between dry and wet fields.
- "When it comes to publishing Haruki Murakami in English, nothing is lost in translation", Asahi Shimbun AJW, 15 May 2013: "The novel, which has sold more than 1 million copies since its release in April, is Murakami's first in three years."
- "Murakami's 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki' tops U.S. bestsellers list", Reuters, 21 August 2014: "'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage', the latest novel from Japanese author Haruki Murakami, topped the U.S. bestsellers list on Thursday [...] Hardcover Fiction [...] Week ended Aug. 17, 2014, powered by Nielsen BookScan [...]"
- "NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week of August 21, 2014", NPR, 22 August 2014: "1: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage / Weeks on List: 1"
- "Best Sellers: Hardcover Fiction" (sales for the week ending 16 August 2014), The New York Times, 25 August 2014 (31 August 2014 in print)
- (Japanese) "Haruki Murakami's new work to be published in April", Yomiuri Shimbun, 18 February 2013.
- (Japanese) "Haruki Murakami's new novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, to be released April, 12", MSN Sankei News, 15 March 2013.
- (Japanese) "Murakami's new novel will be released April 12th! The mystery of 'Colorless' 'Tsukuru Tazaki' 'Pilgrimage' Special Feature", on Bungeishunjū's weekly Bunshun website, 11 April 2013.
- (Japanese) "Frenzy over Haruki Murakami's new novel Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage", MSN Sankei News, 10 April 2013.
- (Japanese) "Haruki Murakami's first new novel in three years, 500,000 copies already sold", MSN Sankei News, 22 April 2013.
- (Japanese) "Haruki Murakami: 'While I was writing it became a novel.' A message about his new work", MSN Sankei News, 28 February 2013.
- (Japanese) "Top secret mysterious contents of Haruki's new work, 500,000 copies sold before the release", Yomiuri Shimbun, 9 April 2013.
- (Japanese) "Bookstores bustling with copies of Haruki Murakami's mysterious new work", Post-Seven News, 11 April 2013, retrieved 25 April 2013.
- (Japanese) "Haruki Murakami's new work goes on sale at midnight, fans excited", Asahi Shimbun, 12 April 2013, retrieved 28 April 2013.
- (Japanese) "The Haruki effect, a classic piece appeared in the novel, sold out", Asahi Shimbun, 20 April 2013, retrieved 28 April 2013.
- (Japanese) "How do booksellers sell Haruki Murakami? Enjoy Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage more", Nikkei Business, 26 April 2013, retrieved 28 April 2013.
- "Murakami's "Colorless Tazaki" becomes bestseller for 2013", press agency Kyodo News (via Archive.org), 3 December 2013: "Writer Haruki Murakami's new novel 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage' was the best-selling book in Japan during the 12 month period through November, selling an estimated 985,000 copies, according to information company Oricon Inc. [...] Novels were strong in the reporting period – from Nov. 19, 2012 and Nov. 17, 2013."
- "Hundreds queue for new Murakami novel", The Bookseller, 12 August 2014
- "The new Harry Potter? Book-lovers queue for midnight launch of new Haruki Murakami novel", London Evening Standard, 12 August 2014
- "Bookstores celebrate the release of Haruki Murakami's newest novel 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage'", The Christian Science Monitor, 11 August 2014
- "English translation of Murakami's latest novel hits U.S. bookstores", The Japan Times, 12 August 2014
- "Sandra Brown's 'Mean Streak' tops U.S. bestsellers list", Reuters, 28 August 2014: "Hardcover Fiction [...] 2. "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage," by Haruki Murakami [...] Week ended Aug. 24, 2014, powered by Nielsen BookScan [...]"
- "Louise Penny's 'The Long Way Home' tops U.S. bestsellers list", Reuters, 4 September 2014: "Hardcover Fiction [...] 3. "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage," by Haruki Murakami [...] Week ended Aug. 31, 2014, powered by Nielsen BookScan [...]"
- "Lee Child's 'Personal' debuts at top of U.S. bestsellers list", Reuters, 11 September 2014: "Hardcover Fiction [...] 10. "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage," by Haruki Murakami [...] Week ended Sept. 7, 2014, powered by Nielsen BookScan [...]"
- The NPR site didn't provide a list for its Week 35 ("Week of August 28, 2014"): the online chart for Week 34 (with the book listed #1 for its first week) has a "next week" link going direcly to Week 36 (with the book listed #1 for its third week), and the direct link for Week 35 returns a "Page Not Found" error page. Due to the book being listed #1 on its first and third weeks, it's been summarized here as "#1 the first three weeks".
- "NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week of September 4, 2014", NPR, 5 September 2014: "1: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage / Weeks on List: 3"
- "NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week of September 11, 2014", NPR, 12 September 2014: "3: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage / Weeks on List: 4"
- "NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week of September 18, 2014", NPR, 19 September 2014: "3: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage / Weeks on List: 5"
- "NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week of September 25, 2014", NPR, 26 September 2014: "4: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage / Weeks on List: 6"
- "NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week of October 2, 2014", NPR, 3 October 2014: "4: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage / Weeks on List: 7"
- "NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week of October 9, 2014", NPR, 10 October 2014: "4: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage / Weeks on List: 8"
- "NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week of October 16, 2014", NPR, 17 October 2014: "4: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage / Weeks on List: 9"
- "NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week of October 23, 2014", NPR, 24 October 2014: "5: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage / Weeks on List: 10"
- "Best Sellers: Hardcover Fiction" (sales for the week ending 23 August 2014), The New York Times, 1 September 2014 (7 September 2014 in print)
- "Best Sellers: Hardcover Fiction" (sales for the week ending 30 August 2014), The New York Times, 8 September 2014 (14 September 2014 in print)
- "Best Sellers: Hardcover Fiction" (sales for the week ending 6 September 2014), The New York Times, 15 September 2014 (21 September 2014 in print)
- "Best Sellers: Hardcover Fiction" (sales for the week ending 13 September 2014), The New York Times, 22 September 2014 (28 September 2014 in print)
- "Best Sellers: Hardcover Fiction" (sales for the week ending 20 September 2014), The New York Times, 29 September 2014 (5 October 2014 in print)
- "Best Sellers: Hardcover Fiction" (sales for the week ending 27 September 2014), The New York Times, 6 October 2014 (12 October 2014 in print)
- "Best Sellers: Hardcover Fiction" (sales for the week ending 4 October 2014), The New York Times, 13 October 2014 (19 October 2014 in print)
- "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage", iDreamBooks, as of 25 October 2014[update]: "77%, 14 Critic Reviews [...] Bestseller Status: 5 (Peak Rank on Aug 31 2014) 2 (Weeks as Bestseller) [...] Critic reviews[:] All: 14 | Positive: 11 | Negative: 3 [...] Reader Rating[:] 76%, An aggregated and normalized score based on 570 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes"
- "Fiction Bestsellers: Week of 31 Aug 2014", iDreamBooks, 1 September 2014
- "Fiction Bestsellers: Week of 07 Sep 2014", iDreamBooks, 8 September 2014
- "Murakami at Edinburgh", The Bookseller, 26 August 2014: "Japanese author Haruki Murakami launched his latest novel at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this weekend with two sell-out events for fans at the 600-capacity Baillie Gifford Theatre."
- "London fans in 18-hour queue for Murakami", The Bookseller, 1 September 2014: "Fans queued for up to 18 hours to meet Haruki Murakami for the last stop on his first book tour in 10 years. / The book lovers began queuing outside Waterstones Piccadilly in London from 5pm on Friday (29th August) to meet their much-admired author at 11am the following day for a book signing. / Publishers at Harvill Secker told The Bookseller that 400 people were waiting diligently in line by 5a.m. and by 7a.m. Waterstones booksellers had to close the queue because it was too long."
- "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage", Complete Review, published 18 August 2014, updated 22 August 2014, accessed 6 October 2014
- (Japanese) "最速レビュー。村上春樹『色彩を持たない多崎つくると、彼の巡礼の年』に驚いた", Excite.co.jp, 12 April 2013, retrieved 28 April 2013.
- (Japanese) Publisher's page on Bungeishunjū's HonNoHanashi Web
- Translating Haruki Murakami (working blog of the book's translators; formerly "Thinking of Tsukuru Tazaki")
- Press reviews (about the original edition)
- "Haruki Murakami's new novel challenges us to confront our pasts", Asahi Shimbun AJW, 15 April 2013
- "In 'Tsukuru Tazaki', Murakami once again shifts his point of view", The Japan Times, 21 April 2013
- "'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki' is an imperfect work but one of Haruki Murakami's most important", Asahi Shimbun AJW, 16 March 2014
- Press reviews (about the English edition)
- (Select long-form critiques, grouped by country sorted by chronology.)
- "Haruki Murakami's familiar tale of a man's odd past and his empty present", The Observer (at The Guardian), 27 July 2014 (28 July in print)
- "Friends Reunited", Literary Review, 1 August 2014
- "Murakami returns with a harmonious blend of naivety and riddling sophistication", The Independent, 1 August 2014
- "A teenage falling-out colours a young man's future in this suspenseful new novel", Financial Times, 1 August 2014
- "Murakami drops magic for realism in this tale of a lonely Tokyo engineer", The Spectator, 2 August 2014
- "Little claim to interest", The Daily Telegraph, 2 August 2014
- "Peculiar beauty, intense teen friendships and strange aphorisms are all there in Haruki Murakami's new fable-like novel", Sunday Express, 3 August 2014
- "Full of ambiguity and sex – all Murakami's signature flourishes are here", The Guardian, 6 August 2014
- "Murakami's bestseller translated at last", The Register, 31 August 2014
- "Haruki Murakami's New Novel of Memory and Mystery", Newsweek, 3 August 2014
- "Deep Chords", The New York Times, 5 August 2014 (10 August in print)
- "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage", San Francisco Chronicle, 6 August 2014
- "Haruki Murakami is an avatar for alienation", Chicago Tribune, 6 August 2014
- "Murakami's understated triumph", Salon, 6 August 2014
- "A young man's friends shun him in Haruki Murakami's great new novel", The Miami Herald, 8 August 2014
- "Haruki Murakami's 'Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki' paints haunting picture", Los Angeles Times, 10 August 2014
- "The Mystery of Murakami", The Atlantic, 13 August 2014
- "Haruki Murakami Paints a 'Colorless' Character in a Vividly Imagined World", NPR, 18 August 2014
- "Haruki Murakami's pilgrimage infused with the spirit of wabi-sabi", The Australian, 9 August 2014
- "Through colourful doors of perception", The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 August 2014
- "Haruki Murakami's new book peels back the layers of friendship", The Japan Times, 9 August 2014 (10 August in print)
- "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: dull, indeed", The Globe and Mail, 15 August 2014
- "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage", National Post, 29 August 2014
- "Emotional exile's homecoming: Haruki Murakami conducts a quest into the past as his hero tries to understand a long-ago rejection", South China Morning Post, 17 August 2014
- Other reviews (about the original edition)
- Story analysis at Sgt. Tanuki
- Plot analysis at Néojaponisme
- Thematic review at Yukari Peerless: Everybody Else Is Already Taken
- Book analysis at Contemporary Japanese Literature
- Book review at Chasing Bawa
- "Literary looking glass: 4 Murakami fans – 4 perspectives on latest novel" at Asahi Shimbun AJW
- Other reviews (about the English edition)
- 'Lost in Translation' review at Foxing Quarterly
- Review and meta-review at How to Japanese
- Review, meta-review, 80 int'l links at Complete Review
- Book review at The Modern Novel
- Christian review at Brilliant Disguises
- Book review at Vox
- "An Empty Vessel" at Tor.com