Today, Knopf released an online trailer for Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage via YouTube.
Like Murakami’s writing, the trailer is poetic and unusual—and deceivingly captivating for its visual simplicity. The graphics, consistent with the book’s cover, are simple and striking: Bold black text and colorful geometric shapes set against a white screen, often producing after-images that linger for just a moment.
The trailer parallels the two major themes, colors and trains, running through the novel (The main character Tsukuru has a passion for refurbishing train stations). A network of thick, colored lines—reminiscent of a subway map—diverges, presumably symbolizing the trajectory of the five friends featured in the novel, all of whose names represent a color, save Tsukuru.
A placid female voice narrates the brief visual journey, accompanied by an elegant, meandering piano solo by Franz Liszt (Murakami is known to be an avid music lover). The trailer reveals just enough about the novel to draw the viewer in. If the purpose of the trailer is to entice readers, then job well done, Mr. Murakami.